Global Status Report estimates nearly 52 million lives globally would be a prey to Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by the year 2030.
NCDs such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancers killed 38 million people globally in 2012 among which 8.5 million were South-East Asians.
The report emphasized that this number is expected to grow larger if we do not act now to arrest this epidemic.
Nearly 60 percent of all deaths in India, were due to NCDs and 26 percent between the ages of 30-70 years had a probability of succumbing to the four diseases.
All governments must commit and set national NCD targets this year and implement policy and cost-effective interventions for prevention and control of major non-communicable diseases.
High rates of death and disease, particularly in low and middle income countries, is a reflection of inadequate investment in cost-effective NCD interventions.
The problem is growing, particularly in the South-East Asia Region, where non-communicable diseases cause two out of three deaths, it said.
WHO regional director for South-East Asia region Poonam Khetrapal Singh said nearly half of the deaths due to non-communicable diseases occur in the 30 to 70 years age group.
"Most of the premature NCD deaths are preventable. Promoting simple lifestyle changes and diet modifications can prevent non-communicable diseases," she said.
The WHO recommended that all countries implement the "best buys" interventions such as:
- Banning all forms of tobacco and alcohol advertising
- Reducing salt consumption
- Replacing trans fats with polyunsaturated fats
- Promoting and protecting breastfeeding
- Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure
- Preventing cervical cancer through periodic screening
Among the targets set by the WHO are lowering salt or sodium intake by 30%, atleast 10% reduction in alcohol abuse, lowering tobacco use by 30%, a 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure.