1. Mechcatie, Elizabeth MA, BSN


Recommendations for 'mobilizing the nursing workforce' praised by the ICN.


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In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) Independent High-Level Com-mission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) released a report providing recommendations for reducing premature deaths from NCDs, which affect billions of people worldwide (see The commission was formed by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in 2017 after it became clear that not enough progress was being made toward meeting the goal set in 2015: a one-third reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030 "through prevention and treatment of NCDs and the promotion of mental health and well-being."

Figure. Nurses, such... - Click to enlarge in new window Nurses, such as these conducting breast and cervical cancer screenings at a clinic in Kampala, Uganda, are critical to achieving the WHO's goal of a one-third reduction in premature NCD deaths by 2030. Photo by Jake Lyell / Alamy Stock Photo.

The major categories of NCDs-cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes-affect people of all ages and in many cases are preventable via public policies discouraging risky behaviors such as tobacco and excessive alcohol use, unhealthy diets, and inadequate exercise, according to the WHO report.


The report details six areas of recommendations, which include charging heads of state and governments to actively support efforts by the health sector and to actively engage related government agencies such as finance, environment, education, and agriculture. Another recommends that health systems be reoriented to include health promotion, prevention, and chronic disease management according to national needs. The report highlights this area as one in which nurses have "crucial roles to play," adding: "With the right knowledge, skills, opportunities, and financial support, nurses are uniquely placed to act as effective practitioners, health coaches, spokespersons, and knowledge suppliers for patients and families throughout the life course."


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) praised the report. "I welcome the explicit acknowledgement and recommendation for the need to mobilize and invest in nurses in order to make substantial progress on addressing NCDs," ICN president Annette Kennedy, a member of the commission, said in a statement. "Recognizing, investing, and mobilizing the nursing workforce will lead to real and lasting change in individual and population health and well-being," she added.


An estimated 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 die from NCDs annually, with people living in low- and middle-income countries disproportionately affected, according to the ICN.-Elizabeth Mechcatie, MA, BSN