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George Alleyne: Global health, noncommunicable diseases

George Alleyne

Director Emeritus, Pan American Health Organization

If you ask what one thing I would do — it is definitely number one — it is raise tobacco taxes. Number two, raise tobacco taxes. Number three, raise tobacco taxes.

The other very important step is for all of the organizations of the U.N. system to come together in order to focus on noncommunicable diseases; all of them have to come together to say this is something we have to do.

We are not talking of something that is a myth: In some countries, half of diabetic men are impotent, people who have diabetes lose their legs, many women are made widows early on because their husbands get heart diseases and die. It is something that you should be interested in because you have a stake in this. I am very optimistic about the possibility of creating a social movement on this.

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