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Cristian Baeza discusses global health, noncommunicable diseases

Cristian Baeza

Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, Human Develop-ment Network, The World Bank

NCDs are a threat to economic development, front and center, a tremendous challenge for countries’ future economic development . . . and a cause of catastrophic losses for households. Many, many people fall into poverty because of NCDs.

Almost 600 million people in China have one of the most important risk factors for NCDs. Africa is going to transition from having around 28 percent of the problems in NCDs to double that in 15 years.

[We need] a coherent message that allows us to highlight the importance of NCDs and their shock to economic development and to people. In the shorter term, taxation of tobacco is central. It has proven to be effective and it should be expanded. We hope that we will have a conversation on other issues, on trans fats and on salt.

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