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The declaration is recognition that, unless health professionals, governments, businesses and the public find a common voice that paves the way for much-needed action now, the number of premature deaths as a result of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) will keep increasing.

heartdiagram3Professor David Wood, President-Elect at the World Heart Federation, said: “The Mexico Declaration is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to tackle what are largely preventable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases continue to place a huge burden on society, not just financially but also in terms of the role they play in maintaining inequalities, particularly in low to middle income countries.”

The declaration is the culmination of the Global Summit on Circulatory Health and Shared Challenges of “25 by 25” which took place on the opening day of the World Heart Federation’s World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health (WCC 2016). Those participating in the Summit shared views on the role that political advocacy, on-the-ground interventions and collaboration need to play in ensuring that the WHO 25 by 25 goal is achieved. The significance of the need to speak with one voice underpins the core declaration.

The organisations signing the declaration include some of the world’s most respected organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and World Stroke Organisation. A host of heart societies and foundations and other health organisations have also agreed to join forces to address one of the most pressing health issues of our time. All signatories are pledging they will collaborate to support the WHO Global Action Plan to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases and use their networks to advocate to policy makers for the funding and implementation of national action plans.

The declaration calls for governments and policymakers to take legislative action to promote healthier lifestyles and cleaner environments, promote taxation of unhealthy products and improve access to effective CVD treatments. It calls on NGOs to improve national education and training programmes to help improve diagnosis and treatment, on the private sector to commit to providing healthy and safe working environments and encourages public education to help people manage their risk of CVDs and advocate for their right to live and work in health-enabling environments.

Professor Wood said: “There is a tremendous amount of excellent work being done across the world to help reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke, but carrying on as individual countries – or even continents – simply isn’t an option if we are to make the required impact. The Mexico Declaration sets out the need to increase the focus, commitment and funding of CVD health globally; it is vital that each and every signatory plays his or her part in improving circulatory health for all people.”

Dr Erick Alexanderson Rosas, President of the Mexican Society of Cardiology commented: “We completely back this much needed declaration and hope it will mark a major landmark in the fight against CVDs, both in Mexico and around the world. Internationally we are faced with a major CVD epidemic and in Mexico it shows no sign of slowing down – it’s vital we act now and do more to decrease major risk factors. Introducing the sugar tax was a helpful step but more needs to be done – including introducing stronger tobacco control.”

Lic. Carlos Castro, from the national patient group Asociación ALE, commented: “This is an important day not only for CVD patients in Mexico but also those at increasing risk of developing the disease. I see first-hand the damage that heart failure, heart attacks and strokes can do – we need to ensure not only that these patients receive the effective treatment they need and that their voices are heard but to prevent so many people developing these diseases in the first place.”

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