On the occasion of the World Heart Federation 2nd Global Summit on Circulatory Health, the global cardiovascular disease (CVD) community is calling for immediate and urgent action to end needless deaths from the world’s number one killer.
Each year there are 6 million premature deaths from CVD, many of which could be prevented or postponed if the world were to act. Over 80% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries, where they exact a vast health burden on those that can least afford it.
In 2016, as an outcome of the 1st Global Summit on Circulatory Health, the World Heart Federation launched the Mexico Declaration on Circulatory Health. This calls for a coordinated response to the global heart disease and stroke pandemic, aligned with the United Nations goal of a 25% reduction in the risk of premature non-communicable disease mortality by 2025.
Through the Mexico Declaration we pledged to work together to:
- Create a common international advocacy strategy to promote policies for cardiovascular health to influence international, regional and national actions on CVD prevention.
- Develop a common implementation strategy to ensure that what works, based on evidence, is implemented for: (a) those already suffering from CVD; (b) those at high risk of developing CVD and; (c) for populations at large in low-, middle- and high-income countries.
- Develop a common language and mechanism for speaking with one voice to policy makers and politicians.
Building on this international declaration, and in anticipation of the forthcoming United Nation High Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases in September 2018, over 100 leaders of international, regional and national organisations attending the 2nd Summit on Circulatory Health are meeting to develop collectively an action plan based on the following priorities:
- Ministries of Health to strengthen NCD Action Plans by prioritizing investment in access to treatment and services for the prevention and control of circulatory diseases at the primary healthcare level; and to achieve this through the immediate implementation of the WHO Global HEARTS technical package in every region with a focus on secondary prevention, hypertension detection and control and tobacco control.
- Governments to support and promote policy decisions that have a positive impact on the prevention of CVD by adopting a ‘health in all policies’ approach.
- Ministries of Health to prioritize access to essential medicines and technologies for prevention and control of heart attacks and strokes in order to detect and effectively manage hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes over the lifetime of the patient.
- Ministries of Health to develop systems to collect national data on CVD mortality and morbidity and the use of essential medicines in secondary and primary prevention of circulatory diseases.
- All professional organisations to support patients with circulatory disease, those at high risk of developing circulatory disease, and stakeholders more widely. The aim being to mobilize together in a civil society movement to advocate for international and national actions to prevent and control circulatory diseases.
David Wood, President, World Heart Federation:
“Without swift adoption of prevention and intervention strategies, current worldwide trends indicate increased global death and disability from preventable non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The question the cardiovascular disease (CVD) community continues to face is: How can we create a greater sense of urgency when we’re dealing with the world’s number one killer? This is the rallying theme behind the World Heart Federation’s 2nd Global Summit on Circulatory Health.”
Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Health, Singapore:
“This Global Summit is both necessary and timely. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally. In 2015, it was reported that an estimated 31% of all deaths around the world were due to cardiovascular diseases. The situation is equally serious in Singapore, with cardiovascular diseases being the leading cause of premature mortality and ill health. More worryingly, it accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths in our country.
“I am heartened that this year’s Global Summit is even more ambitious than last year’s inaugural event, as we place continued emphasis and focus on encouraging knowledge exchange and the sharing of our unique experiences with one another. I am also glad that the Summit will touch on how we can build effective partnerships and mobilise communities in our continued battle against cardiovascular diseases. More importantly, it also represents a worldwide call to action in light of the urgent need to address issues associated with it.”
 Roth A, et al. Estimates of Global and Regional Premature Cardiovascular Mortality in 2025. In Circulation (2015)