22 February 2018

Ilona Kickbusch named to WHO Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases

Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Graduate Institute’s Global Health Centre, has been appointed by World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to the new WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The commission, comprised of heads of state and ministers, leaders in health and development and entrepreneurs, will propose bold and innovative solutions to accelerate prevention and control of diseases such as heart and lung disease, cancer, and diabetes. Currently, seven in ten deaths globally every year are from NCDs, the main contributors being tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity.

“We can beat the drivers of the NCD epidemic, which are among the world’s main obstacles to health”, says Dr Tedros. “I am looking to the Commission to identify innovative, bold and practical actions steps to scale up prevention and treatment of NCDs and provide health for all.”

“The NCDs are a tsunami, destroying the health, social and economic development potential of many developing countries”, says Professor Kickbusch. “The Commission must make courageous recommendations that address the lack of political will to address the commercial determinants of health.”

The Commission, which includes Alibaba founder Jack Ma and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will run until October 2019, submitting its first report to Dr Tedros in June 2018. More details are available on the WHO website.