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Non-communicable diseases on Commonwealth agenda

By News team

Pharmacists attending the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association conference in South Africa earlier this month (29 May–1 June 2011) have committed themselves to combating non-communicable diseases within the Commonwealth.

In the “Durban declaration on the commitment of pharmacists to combating non-communicable diseases in the Commonwealth”, a document produced at the end of the conference, non-communicable diseases are listed as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory disorders, cancers, haemoglobin disorders (including sickle-cell disease) and mental health disorders.

The declaration calls on health ministers in Commonwealth countries to engage with professional bodies in every country in order to ensure that their contribution to combating these diseases is maximised through surveillance, health promotion, interventions and the provision of medicines.

Raymond Anderson, president of the CPA, said: “The tragedy of the impact of non-communicable diseases is that many can be prevented or managed by lifestyle modification. Tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are all risk factors linked to many of these diseases.”

He told PJ Online: “The Durban statement shows that pharmacists are aware of how non-communicable diseases can affect the health of many citizens in the Commonwealth, and ultimately strengthens the role the profession can play in prevention by engaging with patients, policy makers and other health professionals.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11078624

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