Singapore minister Gan Kim Yong to chair WHO commission on non-communicable diseases

Gan Kim Yong
Gan Kim Yong Reuters

Gan Kim Yong, a member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP) is now appointed to chair a high-level position in World Health Organisation (WHO) commission. Gan Kim has also been the Minister for Health in Singapore since May 2011.

Based on Gan Kim's personal capacity he was appointed to the Commission of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which are world's top causes of death to provide objective and balanced opinions on topics.

The main aim of the commission is to identify various ways to restrain diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems, which are transmitted from person to person and extend the life expectancy.

President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, Russian Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova, President of Uruguay Tabare Vazquez and Sania Nisthar, the former Pakistani minister and founding president of non-profit group Heartfile will also co-chair the commission.

The Singapore Ministry of Health said on Saturday that the WHO commission will support to boost programs on cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease, including actions to reduce suffering from mental health issues and the effects of violence as well as injuries.

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

After the announcement, Gan Kim said that he is honoured to chair such position in the commission.

According to him, NCD has continued to affect Singapore and the entire world and only in the republic it is responsible for more than 80 percent of the total disease burden.

The 59-year-old Singapore politician also mentioned that in 2016, Singapore declared War on Diabetes and prepared the country to fight against its most pressing NCD concerns.

In addition to that Gan Kim said he will share Singapore's experience with NCD, exchange views with the global counterparts and contribute to the work of the commission.

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