Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong appointed to World Health Organisation commission

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong has been appointed in his personal capacity to a high-level World Health Organisation commission.
Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong has been appointed in his personal capacity to a high-level World Health Organisation commission. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

SINGAPORE - Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong has been appointed in his personal capacity to a high-level World Health Organisation (WHO) commission.

The Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases aims to identify innovative ways to curb diseases that are not transmitted from person to person, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and extend life expectancy.

Non-communicable diseases are among the world's top causes of death.

In a statement on Saturday (Feb 17), the Singapore Ministry of Health said the WHO commission will support ongoing efforts to accelerate action on cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, as well as reducing suffering from mental health issues, and the impacts of violence and injuries.

The WHO commission consists of 22 eminent people, including representatives of governments, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions.

All members are appointed in their personal capacity to provide objective and balanced opinions on topics.

Said Mr Gan: "I am honoured to be appointed to the commission. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continue to pose a major health challenge to Singapore and the world. In Singapore, NCDs are responsible for more than 80 per cent of the total disease burden.

"In 2016, Singapore declared War on Diabetes and mobilised the nation to tackle one of our most pressing NCD concerns. I look forward to sharing Singapore's experience, exchanging views with our global counterparts, and contributing to the work of the commission."

The commission is co-chaired by President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, President of Uruguay Tabare Vazquez, Russian Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova, and former Pakistani minister and founding president of non-profit group Heartfile Sania Nishtar.