Cape Town has joined the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global effort to build healthier cities by pursuing a specific policy to reduce non-communicable diseases and injuries by 2018.
In his role as World Health Organization (WHO) global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is engaging city leaders to beat NCDs and injuries with smart, proven policies that will advance health and strengthen economies.
NCDs including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and injuries caused by road traffic crashes are the often ignored killers of 44-million people globally each year.
CT focus on diabetes
"In South Africa, 52% of deaths every year are attributable to non-communicable diseases and injuries. We must take bold steps to help our citizens live healthier, longer lives and reduce the economic toll these NCDs and injuries take on our city. In Cape Town, our focus will be on diabetes which is a silent killer and can be prevented and treated effectively through proper nutrition and adopting a healthy lifestyle. I am pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg in this global effort and believe it will allow Cape Town to lead by example, promoting change in both our communities and around the world," said executive mayor Alderman Patricia de Lille.
In low- and middle-income countries, NCDs account for 67% of deaths, but only 1% of health funding addresses them. With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against diseases and injuries by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors.
"Injuries and non-communicable diseases are responsible for eight in 10 deaths globally, but small changes at community levels can save many of those lives," said Bloomberg.
Immediate support to cities
"The Partnership for Healthy Cities brings immediate support to cities whose mayors are committed to healthier lives for their citizens and to leading the charge globally to reduce NCDs and injuries. The actions of these mayors can prevent millions of needless deaths and protect the health of generations to come," he added.
Over the next 18 months, Cape Town will work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and implementing partners to reduce diabetes. To support efforts, participating cities will receive technical assistance as needed. As part of the partnership, Cape Town has access to a global network of mayors and the WHO Healthy Cities networks, which will improve collaboration and the sharing of good practices and lessons learned.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is committing $5m to the Healthy Cities Partnership efforts and Cape Town will benefit from this assistance which will contribute towards the finalisation of the City of Cape Town’s Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Programme.
For more information, go to https://partnershipforhealthycities.bloomberg.org