HSPH Dean Julio Frenk spoke on a panel about the rising burden of chronic disease in the developing world at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 27. The panel called for international cooperation to address the 35 million deaths worldwide that occur each year from chronic disease. “Chronic disease causes 6 out of every 10 deaths worldwide,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Eighty percent of those deaths occur in the developing world.
It is an “enormous injustice,” said Frenk, that such diseases are prevented from killing in wealthy countries but not in poor ones. “We must learn from the successful HIV/AIDS movement, which overcame entrenched myths that the disease was too complex, costly and commonplace to prevent,” he said.