Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius today reported that chronic diseases are a growing burden for the United States – where they account for seven out of every ten deaths.
At a UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases, Ms. Sebelius highlighted that for many years, the international community has joined forces to battle infectious diseases.
“Working together, we have reduced the devastating toll taken by illnesses like malaria and HIV/AIDS. While much work remains to be done, we have shown that when the nations of the world come together, we can achieve great improvements in health.” -Ms. Sebelius
She stressed that under President Obama, the United States has made taking on chronic disease a major focus. The United States has announced a new initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.
“Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, is leading a national effort to end childhood obesity within a generation.” -Ms. Sebelius
She highlighted that the United States also made chronic disease a focus in US research and global health programs. She added that they will be announcing a major new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to help promote smoke-free workplaces around the world.
“And we are also launching a global public-private partnership to support tobacco cessation efforts using mobile phone technologies that are now widely available in middle and low income countries.” -Ms. Sebelius
Ms. Sebelius underscored that these partnerships reflect their belief that in order to turn the tide on chronic disease, they must recruit partners from outside government and from outside the health sector.
“To stay healthy, people need more than high-quality care. They also need clean air and water, nutritious, affordable food, and healthy living spaces – and we need to work with partners that can help us achieve these goals.” -Ms. Sebelius