Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Mr. Sergey Kononuchenko on the Informal briefing in advance of the Third UN HLM on Noncommunicable Diseases
First of all, let me thank the World Health Organization for organizing today's briefing, which is devoted to combating non-communicable diseases.
As we have repeatedly noted, this area is one of the priorities of the Russian Federation in the field of public health.
In order to preserve our citizens’ health, we believe it is important to create such conditions which would ensure people’s choice in favor of healthy lifestyle. In this regard, the Russian Federation has adopted and is implementing a whole range of multisectoral and interagency measures.
We have developed the 2025 national Strategy for promoting a healthy lifestyle, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, as well as the Concept for tobacco control.
We have a comprehensive program of motivating citizens to a healthy lifestyle. It is aimed at preschoolers and schoolchildren, young people as well as working age population. In particular, we use such an approach in schools through special educational programs, the dissemination of ideas of volunteering, promotion of sports. In addition, employers create a health-saving environment in the workplace; we implement projects in the areas of tobacco-free environment, restriction of alcohol consumption, healthy nutrition, mass promotion of physical culture and sports.
Such systematic work allowed us to reduce the prevalence of tobacco consumption by 16% and the rate of alcohol consumption – by 8% over the past two and a half years. The number of people systematically involved in physical culture and sports has increased by 18%.
Since 2013, annual routine screenings are conducted to identify diseases at the early stages, especially when it comes to oncological diseases.
We view the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity, raising awareness about a healthy diet and harmful effects of excess consumption of sugar, salt and fats as priority areas for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.
We also attach great importance to scientific research and development in the field of cancer treatment. Options are being explored to develop an antitumor drug by a biotechnology company BIOCAD. It belongs to a new class – checkpoint-inhibitors – agents used for immunotherapy of oncological diseases. This medicine shows effectiveness in melanoma, lung cancer, head tumors, etc. Its main difference is that unlike chemotherapeutic agents it does not cease to function after the patient stops taking it. In fact, the drug triggers an immune reaction that allows it to fight the tumor. This gives a chance to patients with the most severe forms of cancer.
We look forward to the briefing by Assistant Director General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Svetlana Akselrod that will be dedicated to the report of the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs, co-chaired by the Russian Minister of Health Veronica Skvortsova.
We emphasize the importance of raising awareness about mental health, the prevention and treatment of mental disorders as integral measures in the field of fighting NCDs. This category of diseases does not only lead to the economic losses of countries, but also affects the demographic and social well-being of their populations. We are convinced that, considering the multifaceted nature of the problem, it is not only the state authorities that must deal with it, but academia and civil society should also be actively involved.