(2015; 2 pages)
The Global Burden of Disease, especially in the Middle East, is rapidly shifting from acute to chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This has been recognized by the holding of the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs in September 2011. Following the political declaration passed by the Assembly, the World Health Organization (WHO) was tasked with the responsibility to define indicators and targets. One of the key targets is an 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major NCDs, in both public and private facilities. Access encompasses more than just availability; it includes geographical access, often affected by travel costs and time, cultural access often involving gender and minority issues, and financial access involving prices and ability to pay.