On behalf of SIOP and IIPAN, we thank our partners for joining the WHA77 constituency statement on Nutrition and Child NCDs for agenda item 11.2. The statement will be read out by Dr. Rashmi Dalvi, SIOP’s Chair of Advocacy. Also attending the WHA for SIOP’s is Dr. Maja Beck-Popovic (SIOP WHO NSA Engagement Committee member).

The statement is now uploaded on the officical WHA platform under 11.2 (view here)

PDF Version for download here

WHA77 Constituency statement

Pillar 1: One billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage – 11. Review of and update on matters considered by the Executive Board
11.2 Follow-up to the political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases Constituency Participants [WHO NSAs]
• International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) – Lead/Coordinator
• Childhood Cancer International (CCI)
• International Paediatric Association (IPA)
• Intra-Health International
• NCD Alliance
• International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Collaborating Partner [Non-NSA]
• International Initiative for Pediatrics and Nutrition (IIPAN)

We commend member states’ commitment to childhood nutrition and urge them to recognize that treatment of several noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, are impacted by malnutrition.
SDGs 2 and 3 target ending all forms of malnutrition, reducing NCD mortality and ending preventable deaths in under 5s by 2030.
The continuing crisis results in nearly half of under 5 mortality being linked to undernutrition. In 2022, 149, 45, and 37 million children under 5 were estimated to be stunted, wasted, and overweight/obese, respectively. Further, malnutrition costs the global economy approximately $3.5 USD trillion annually, robbing countries of valuable resources.

Concurrently, over 2.1 billion children and adolescents are affected by NCDs, including 400,000 diagnosed with cancer annually. The majority live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Healthy nutrition status plays a crucial role in health outcomes during and after treatment, including survival, treatment tolerance, and quality of life; a consistent observation in several NCDs. The prevalence of malnutrition among children with cancer approximates 75% in LMICs.

We urge member states to consider the following recommendations:
− Re-align with global priorities to resolve malnutrition to advance children’s health and reduce mortality.
− Acknowledge the critical importance of malnutrition and its adverse effect on mortality, morbidity and increased healthcare costs in children with NCDs such as cancer.
− Ensure all cadres of health workers and facilities are equipped with optimal resources for nutritional status assessement and adequate delivery of nutrition support throughout the continuum of care for all children with cancer and other NCDs.
− Acknowledge the critical role of malnutrition and outcome of cancer; additional support for nutrition may be provided through universal health coverage for children with cancer.
− Designate cancer and other NCDs as medical conditions necessitating proactive nutrition support to minimise morbidity and curb mortality rates in children globally.