The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that “Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right”, thus affirming the basic human right to life and health that is guaranteed under international human rights law. It also goes on to state, “Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain their institutional structures and their
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While often referred to as "chronic diseases", NCDs are distinguished by their non-infectious cause unlike chronic diseases for example HIV/AIDS caused by transmissible infections. The similarities lie in that they also require chronic care management. In the past many NCDs were associated with economic development and so-called "diseases of the rich". However, today an estimated 80% of the four main types of NCDs - cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, occur in low and middle-income countries. The prevention and control of NCDs is becoming increasingly important on the global health agenda.
NCDs are the leading killer today and are on the increase worldwide, confirmed by the first World Health Organization Global status report on NCDs launched first quarter 2011. The records state in 2008, 36.1 million people died from conditions such as heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers, and diabetes. Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries with some of the highest total death in countries such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Marshal Islands, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zambia. The major overall effect is the life expectancy is shortened dramatically. This invisible epidemic is an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinders the economic