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Indefinite Life Extension and Broader World Health Collaborations (Part II)
Eric Schulke   Oct 23, 2014   Ethical Technology  

Review of Health Advocacy in the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals This review addresses research and advocacy collaboration potential pertaining to the World Health Organization, indefinite life extension and related groups. I begin by explaining how supporters of a generally healthy society and groups interested in world development relate and don’t relate to longevity extension. I then examine papers that are more oriented toward longevity extension. I conclude by reviewing papers that are most closely aligned with the goal. I note that, though we in the movement for indefinite life extension support many of these groups and their positions, none of them go quite far enough.

(Part I)

A high-level meeting was conducted on NCDs by the UN general assembly in 2011. It is great that the same groups and humanitarians that mounted the war on AIDS and beat it back, are now taking on NCDs at that same level. We thank the World Health Organization for its great work, and we ask its decision-makers to set up a commission on the expedition of the eradication of all common NCDs.

“The Commission recommends that:

7.2. National governments develop and implement economic and social policies that provide secure work and a living wage that takes into account the real and current cost of living for health (see Rec 8.1; 13.5).”

With the rise of emerging technologies like renewable energy, 3D printing, and sophisticated robotics that can perform a lot of extra work and get more done for people, we’ll see people moving to creative sectors, and find that equality might become a secondary effect of technology. Imagine that your friend has a 3D printer that can print 3D printers that print NCD treatments. The way things are headed, there is sure to be a surplus of production ability. Other values like health, time, and experience will become the main ways by which people measure wealth.

“The Commission recommends that:

9.1 National governments, with civil society and donors, build health-care services on the principle of universal coverage of quality services, focusing on Primary Health Care[.]”

Getting NCD treatments into Primary Health Care is something that we are currently in favor of.

As the World Health Organizations reports,

“Noncommunicable diseases - or NCDs - like heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease account for over 63% of deaths in the world today. Every year, NCDs kill 9 million people under 60. The socio-economic impact is staggering.”

“The Commission recommends that:

National governments ensure public sector leadership in health-care systems financing, focusing on tax-/insurance-based funding, ensuring universal coverage of health care regardless of ability to pay, and minimizing out-of-pocket health spending.”

This is an issue that World Health Organization Civil Society participants and others among them, people who think that equality in non-communicable-disease treatments is among our top priorities, and indefinite-life-extensionists in general can all get behind and collaborate on for the progress of health as a whole.

“The Commission recommends that:

9.3. National governments and donors increase investment in medical and health personnel, balancing health-worker density in rural and urban areas (see Rec 6.4; 16.5).”

This should include putting more life-extension education programs in agencies like Health and Human Services departments of local communities. These agencies should be equipped with people who stay on top of the latest information, make reports for various committees that they manage, and generate and read news reports. We need people in such positions to help arrange local educational and outreach programs for related career-path assistance, small-business counseling, and various potential forms of assistance in the local and neighboring areas.

“9.4. International agencies, donors and national governments address the health human resources brain drain, focusing on investment in increased health human resources and training, and bilateral agreements to regulate gains and losses.”

Life-extensionists engage in such actions by working to secure enough funds to pay major health players well, including helping to make sure that opportunities for networking and organizing on the issues are not lost. They work to help position people from among our ranks in the best available positions in beneficial partnerships around the world. This is because resources in the hands of determined actors in this field are important.

These are common-sense, fundamental measures for stopping vital resource drain, using our newfound tools and knowledge, to not only plot out and make sense of the secrets of diseases and other biological conditions and afflictions that are as horrific as aging, but also aging itself and the deadly array of non-communicable diseases that it supports.

We need entrepreneurs and capitalists to put their skills and ambitions to the test here. We are humans, and we want to pioneer. We want to unlock more boundaries. Don’t be afraid to exercise this reality. Join this united, growing health movement of activists against non-communicable diseases. Let’s all commit to forming strong common alliances in these ways.

“The Commission recommends that:

10.1. Parliament and equivalent oversight bodies adopt a goal of improving health equity through action on the social determinants of health as a measure of government performance (see Rec 13.2; 15.1).”

How can we add measures for holding government accountable to progress toward beating back the prevalence of deaths by non-communicable diseases at all ages? Let’s make this happen. Life-extensionists advocate that politicians incorporate a robust funding of this urgent cause into their platforms, and that constituents in districts of the world vote when and where it is possible, for people who can be expected to provide the best support for these issues. If candidates aren’t supporting NCD research well enough, then don’t vote them in. We call on politicians who are serious about life and longevity to step up. It is requested that all knowledgeable life-extensionists who study law consider forming a team to put together more potential legal requests we can make on behalf of the cause. These can include petitions, laws, or other mechanisms encouraging accountability on health, like the Post-2015 Development Goals, or related development goals at state or community levels. Help us identify candidates who will work with these issues, and run for office yourself if you are so predisposed. Our communities of people are looking for more good candidates to consider standing with.

The following are some additional goals of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which could be advanced by longevity-minded communities:

“10.2. National government establish a whole-of-government mechanism that is accountable to parliament, chaired at the highest political level possible (see Rec 11.1; 11.2; 11.5; 12.2; 13.2; 16.6).

10.3. The monitoring of social determinants and health equity indicators be institutionalized and health equity impact assessment of all government policies, including finance, be used (see Rec 12.1; 15.1; 16.2; 16.7).

Action Area 2: Get the health sector right – adopt a social determinants framework across the policy and programmatic functions of the ministry of health and strengthen its stewardship role in supporting a social determinants approach across government.”

The Commission’s recommendation of cooperating and sharing data has our support.

“16.4. Research funding bodies create a dedicated budget for generation and global sharing of evidence on social determinants of health and health equity, including health equity intervention research.”

“Action area 3: Provide training on the social determinants of health to policy actors, stakeholders, and practitioners and invest in raising public awareness.”

In addition to these important factors, we want investment in educational programs on non-communicable diseases and other longevity-related work that could be performed by Health and Human Services departments. It is also important that we increase endowments and grants for the people, projects, and organizations working directly and indirectly toward the eradication of aging and other non-communicable diseases. These diseases are responsible for the loss of human and knowledge capital, productivity, positive net outlook, and everything else that comes along with disease-caused declines and deaths. It is a top priority for the world to remedy the circumstances that cause 2 out of every 3 deaths.

“16.8. WHO strengthens its capacity to provide technical support for action on the social determinants of health globally, nationally, and locally (see Rec 5.1; 9.1; 10.5; 15.3).”

Coalitions and alliances make this capacity stronger, and provide and utilize support in combating deadly, costly diseases.

h.) What kinds of indicators can we set for showing progress toward the goal of getting aging classified as a disease? What can we do to help move more resources into biology research? We could utilize the answers to questions like those.

Political Declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs): Key Points - http://www.ncdalliance.org/sites/default/files/rfiles/Key%20Points%20of%20Political%20Declaration.pdf

“Resources devoted to combating the challenges posed by NCDs at the national, regional and international levels are not commensurate with the burden[.]”

That’s right, and as the Declaration states in its closing remarks, it is a top priority to

“Promote investment in quality research and development, for all aspects related to the prevention and control of NCDs[.]”

Working with health groups and initiatives like these presents important opportunities for indefinite life extension to advance in sociological ways. Let’s get policy that helps fund, promote, and research the therapies. We can defend the goal, find equal footing, have access, gain supporting structures, make bigger local calls to action, and achieve many other victories. Let’s put more wording that is favorable to combating diseases into such UN declarations.

People want to tackle NCDs. Forgoing them is like forgoing tune-ups for vehicles and repairs for houses. The end result of that kind of neglect is catastrophic to any system. Short-term goals are met more quickly through continued integrated joint consultations and meetings that are designed to move the ball forward.

The volume of great consultations on the topic caused the Guardian to report that the UN was crowdsourcing global development. This continues to happen with undertakings like the My World 2015 open vote (www.MyWorld2015.org) that is gathering valuable statistics and insights.

The A Million Voices: The World We Want report - http://www.worldwewant2015.org/bitcache/c8f4811a5002115e2b8db44
0d0d2066727222d93?vid=422391&disposition=inline&op=view
– points out that

“People have clearly said that the fundamental areas covered by the MDGs – education, health, water and sanitation, and gender equality – remain critically important, and not only for people living in poorer countries. The first job of any new development framework must be to finish the unfinished business of the MDGs.”

Various areas throughout these reports and papers indicate that existing institutions might not do enough to support NCD research and life-expectancy issues if we don’t add our contributions to the big picture of what is good for the future of global health. Supporting strong statements, groups, and initiatives, as well as working on undertakings of our own that are strongly in favor of extended life expectancy and non-communicable-disease-fighting resources, is important in making sure our message is pronounced and inspires enough support for our position in the Post-2015 discussion or its future incarnations. There are a few favorable voices there representing us now, which is a good start.

The A Million Voices: The World We Want - A Sustainable Future With Dignity For All, report (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/425236?page=1) finds, as do we, that

“today’s global challenges cannot be approached in silos: progress in all of them is required at the same time.”

We’re also in agreement that

“The discussion in the health consultation re-confirmed how central health is to any future development agenda. All the MDGs influence health, and health in turn influences and contributes to all the MDGs. Health is a precondition for and an outcome and an indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), and sustainable development can only be achieved in the absence of a high prevalence of debilitating communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).”

“Moreover, a considerable body of non-MDG-related evidence points to health being an even more pressing and complex global challenge in 2015 than it was in 2000. The growing burden of NCDs, especially among poor, marginalized and disadvantaged people in countries of all income levels, and emerging global threats to health security such as antibiotic resistance and new infection diseases are just two examples of health issues not addressed by the MDGs.”

“The consultation calls for new goals and targets which build on the existing MDGs, but with more ambitious targets, addressing the burden of NCDs and their risks, strengthening health systems through universal health coverage and access, and tackling the determinants of health through targets in other sectors and themes.”

The problem is not only worsening in the world’s poorest areas, but deaths at the hands of the diseases of aging are causing growing crises in developed nations as well.

Although their health points are among the most relevantly valuable, A Million Voices: The World We Want - A Sustainable Future With Dignity For All also indicates that it might not go far enough overall, as demonstrated in statements like the one below, which is a vote for UHC over NCDs,

“Goals and targets

The Health consultation concluded that sustainable well-being for all could be an overarching goal for the wider post-2015 agenda."

The Million Voices report also states the following:

“Many of these elements and principles were addressed in the Millennium Declaration but did not figure in the MDGs. Four issues stand out here: inclusive growth and decent jobs; governance and accountability; peace and security; and environmental sustainability.”

This statement could also be extrapolated to infer that the cause of two-thirds of all deaths wasn’t taken on directly by the MDGs.

Indefinite healthy life spans require a strong, expeditious, prioritized, multifaceted approach. This is what the people, projects, and organizations of the movement for indefinite life extension, which is like a civil society with expeditious goals, are working on.

Movement for indefinite life extension activists have set crucial goals at a variety of levels. One main goal is informing the mainstream of the industrialized world about the reasoning for why people should want indefinite life extension, why they should think it is feasible, and what any of them can do to help make it happen.

The UHC

“acknowledges that good health is determined, not only by preventing and treating disease, but also by many other aspects of development, including education, gender equality, sustainable energy and nutrition, water and sanitation, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

Those are goals we retain while putting most of our focus into doing what it takes to expedite NCD research.

As the MDGs show in their work with significant progress in reducing child and maternal deaths and controlling HIV, TB, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, action on disease can effectively fight back large-scale death.

Their general successes, though not as completed as the world wanted, can grow in strength and momentum, and complete more of the goals by continuing to team up with health initiatives like the war on aging.

Life makes human civilization possible. People cannot have good lives while diseases continue to diminish and shorten them. We cannot have sustained human civilization with widespread unavoidable death. There cannot be a claim of sustained civilization until NCDs are removed from the equation.

The World We Want also draws a focus to empowering youth to act on these pressing health issues. We’re eager to work with youth groups, too. Our cause, too, advocates increased education of youth on how to discern and take action with pursuits like avoidance of risks for NCDs. Life-extension activists have had some success with youth outreach and participation, and are always looking to do more.

Although the report on these discussions is complete, supporters of healthy life extension are encouraged to include their voices in discussions like these -http://www.worldwewant2015.org/regions/160450#resources - when they can. Sign up with the simple registration there, and you’ll see the totality of the consultations and insights. A lot of people in large world health discussions like The World We Want 2015 have never heard about the work to stop major NCDs altogether, or don’t have enough information to be convinced of its importance and urgency yet.

I think it is worth noting that population in the April 2013 Health in the Post-2015 Agenda: Report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Health is not viewed in terms of letting people die, but rather in terms of helping them get the tools they need to survive and thrive. This report makes statements such as the following:

“policies concerning population dynamics need to be formulated in a way that not only addresses people’s needs, but also proactively protects and respects human rights and women’s choice (according to the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD] Programme of Action).”

The UN system task team on the Post-2015 UN development agenda - Health in the post-2015 UN development agenda -http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/p
olicy/untaskteam_undf/thinkpieces/8_health.pdf
:

This thematic think piece in collaboration with UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO reminds us of the importance of investing in population health issues by area for the sake of sustainability and productivity.

“When a country moves from high to low birth and death rates, the demographic transition, a window opens to accelerate economic growth. This demographic dividend can greatly enhance countries’ productivity and prospects for development. Economists have attributed as much as 40% of East Asia’s per-capita income growth between 1965 and 1990 to its beneficial population structure, which was a result of an early investment in the health and education of young girls and boys as well as in reproductive health, including family planning.”

The Population Dynamics in the Post-2015 Development Agenda Report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics - http://millionvoices-data.worldwewant2015.org/docum
ents/set_13/Population%20Dynamics%20in%20the%20Post-2015%20Development%20Agenda.pdf
- says that “Demography is not destiny.”

That is true, and we note that the authors do not recommend death as a solution to population dynamics in any of the papers we have read about this. Rather, they express statements similar to the one quoted above. They wish to

“Undertake and share research and analysis on the linkages between population dynamics and development to promote the sustainability of rural, urban, regional, national and global development strategies, and ensure that these strategies respond to the changing characteristics and needs of different populations.

“Use population data, projections and scenarios to formulate forward-looking development goals, targets and policies.”

The forward-looking attribute is a specialty of many indefinite-life-extension communities, such as the Foresight Institute and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. If you need more of this attribute infused into your circles, then that is another good reason to help us all network our people-power, protocols, and resources together.

Working with us will help us all accelerate progress on the following issue:

“Ensure that public services, including education, health systems, and housing respond to the changing needs of all age groups. Health care systems will need to respond to the changing global burden of disease, associated with population aging, particularly the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, dementia and other mental health problems.”

i.) Let us get the following kind of statistic-gathering and analyzing power done for NCDs. This seems to be the kind of activity well-suited for Google’s NCD-fighting company, Calico:

“Strengthen national capacities, including through international technical and financial assistance, to collect and analyze demographic, socio-economic and labor data, prepare high quality projections, and integrate these demographic data with other critical social, economic and environmental statistics.

“Promote increased coverage and higher quality of vital registration in all countries.”

The listing by the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics of worthy goals like continuing to reduce maternal mortality, is another good example of an area where they don’t go far enough and into which we extended-longevity supporters can invest our emphasis on the accurate and contextual importance of expedited support of NCD research.

“Integrate and harmonize survey data, and include critical data especially on migration and maternal mortality.

“Disaggregate relevant demographic, social and economic data by age, sex, geography and other demographic information to monitor progress towards internationally agreed development goals, and track changes in inequalities, targeted support to the vulnerable populations, and the resilience of those populations to social, economic and environmental shocks.”

j.) A group of life-extension supporters could come up with a simple game plan to effectively work to engage Calico and WHO about potential collaboration with each other on these kinds of issues.

The Dhaka Declaration of Global Leadership Meeting on Population Dynamics in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda from 13 March 2013 conveys this important message:

“IV. Promote development of human capital, notably health and education, throughout the life cycle. In this context, take into account the changing needs of people as they age, as well as the different needs of children, women and men; internal and international migrants; and rural and urban populations; invest in human capital throughout the life cycle.”

And we note that this is yet another example of high-level world-development leaders and delegates who are declaring that these are the best possible sorts of solutions in the face of population issues.

Other capital isn’t as dynamically valuable as humans are. Humans put in a lot of work to build their minds, character, skills, insights, aptitudes, and strategies for conquering tough challenges. The willpower and direction they create from this is a force that is built by humans to turn out a profit, be that in the form of money, health, time, cheaper energy, or other values. It is bad policy to let go of good capital if you don’t have to. Smart people are entrepreneurs who can roll up their sleeves to achieve health-progress profit.

We agree that we should

“II. Strengthen coverage and quality of pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education, particularly technical and vocational training, especially of the girl child, including through apprenticeship programmes in the developed countries.”

“13 We underscore the recommendations emerging from the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and encourage and support international agencies, civil society and other stakeholders to work with Member States to formulate goals and targets that address population dynamics, as well as forward-looking development targets that take into account current and emerging patterns in population dynamics.

14. We also encourage Member States to integrate population dynamics into their respective national sustainable development strategies and, where appropriate, to promote regional initiatives.”

It is important to remind readers that population is on a decline in many industrialized countries when you subtract immigration. Make a note of that, because overpopulation concerns are a genre of myth and stumbling block to real-world solutions on these critical and solvable issues. Activists for an increase in longevity are here to collaborate on getting the job done. The world is on the right track and upward trajectory on this issue, and we are going to keep it that way.

A 1994 International Conference on Population and Development couldn’t come to the conclusion of allowing everybody to die in response to a hypothetical overpopulation challenge, either. The main discussions regarding this issue focused on the need to educate people to know how to be healthier, reducing infant, child, and maternal mortality, and helping with more access to reproductive-health resources. Industrializing more countries and regions would curtail potential population-growth problems, and educating industrialized nations about under-population challenges would assist as well, along with strategizing with extended healthy lifespans in mind. The way things are going, we’ll need primary school education to cover topics like fertility banks and preserving reproductive cells, population-growth trajectories in various scenarios – for instance, when an average woman has one child every 50 years versus every 100 years – what the choices and trends are, the various ways people can be empowered, and so forth.

The UN Post-2015 Task Team on Population Dynamics reports that

“Much of the projected growth in population in coming decades will take place in developing and the least developed countries, where it is likely to exacerbate poverty and add pressure on the economy, basic health and social services and the environment. Though mortality has been declining and people are living longer in all countries of the world, many developing countries continue to have high fertility, unacceptably high rates of morbidity and mortality and low life expectancy that hinder development. In the developed and middle-income countries with low fertility, population numbers are likely to remain stable or even decline. These countries will experience shrinking working-age populations and rapid population ageing.”

The longer life expectancy is, the more sustainable communities become. They can then grow toward industrialization and shrinking population. So for people in many parts of the world where the population growth is holding them down, the solution to stopping the unsustainable growth is not to let them all die, but to help them all live.

Under-population is a challenge that many people of industrialized countries face. Sound procreation is an obvious remedy and is not the challenge for them that it poses in other parts of the world.

Loss of human capital hurts development.

“While addressing population challenges should be the primary responsibility of Governments, it also requires a joint effort of all stakeholders, including in the UN system. The task ahead cannot be tackled by one agency alone, but requires consistent and concerted actions of all partner organizations. The post-2015 development agenda presents an opportunity to work collaboratively within the UN system to integrate analysis of and response to population dynamics and reproductive health challenges in a common forward-looking vision of sustainable development.

This agenda calls for partnership-based development assistance, which would incorporate States, private businesses, civil society organizations, academics, media and opinion leaders. To ensure coherence of the development agenda and effectiveness of the respective partnership, the set of goals must be rationalized and manageable. Consequently, the goals combined in clusters may be preferable.”

We agree.

There are people who support death as a solution to overpopulation in areas that do not have overpopulation, but actually have under-population. Many of these same people, and others, also advocate for allowing people to continue to die by disease for the sake of stopping a hypothetical overpopulation problem from seizing the world, when the opposite is readily shown to be true. Increasing life expectancy in areas affected by an overpopulation crisis is what brings the population growth under control and helps drive sustainability up.

Below are insightful statements from the UN Post-2015 Task Team’s May 2012 Report on Science, Technology and Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights: The Vision for Development:

“1. A brief introduction to the relevance of the issue/theme

We will not be able to protect, feed, and educate our children, or keep them healthy, if we cannot find better, cheaper, smarter ways of producing goods and bringing them to markets. We cannot create sustainable jobs or robust economies, capable of withstanding fluctuations in global markets without being able to harness the power of knowledge, innovation and creativity. And we cannot create fully functional health, education or social systems if the public and private sectors remain in separate silos. The need to create growth, which is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, raises new, global and interconnected challenges. What we need now and in the years after 2015, is a genuine partnership, in particular between the public and private sector, grounded in the belief that the fruits of scientific endeavour, innovation and creativity should be equitably shared. It is also through such partnerships that science, technology and innovation (STI) can inform our understanding of the mechanisms of sustainable development, produce options for future sustainable growth, and promote adoption of practices founded in the best evidence available.”

“Creating the knowledge necessary to tackle these interrelated challenges will require breaking down barriers between disciplines and strengthening the connection between science and society. There is also a clear linkage to wider social policies, in particular education. Tertiary education systems play a critical role in developing the knowledge intensive skills and innovation on which productivity, job creation and competitiveness depend. Therefore, strengthening capacity-building in science, technology and innovation, as well as basic technical skills, for both men and women, and developing ‘brain gain’ approaches are absolute prerequisites for the future development agenda. Creating platforms and systems through which scientific knowledge can be shared; through which centres of learning can access and add to the stock of human knowledge; and through which people can learn about the frontiers of technology must be a priority. Related to this is a need to recognize that a rich body of scientific and technological information exists in patent databases and more needs to be done to increase access and analysis of that data to support innovation. It must be a priority not only for its own sake but also because it is the basis upon which new technologies will be created and from which development benefits will flow given the appropriate innovation ecosystem. Likewise, there is a need to expand international cooperation in addressing inequalities and bridging the gaps in capabilities to access scientific data and information for development at national, regional and global levels.”

The most important reason of them all why scientific and technological innovation should be a priority is for the sake of taking on the killer of two-thirds of us, aging.

“There is a responsibility upon policy makers to create an environment where development needs truly influence science and innovation priorities and where development policy and practice is appropriately informed by the science and knowledge base. And there is a responsibility on policy makers to create an environment where there are adequate incentives for both the public and private sectors to grow that science and knowledge base and place it at the service of humanity. Creativity and innovation are a natural resource in which every country and every community is potentially rich. Intellectual property provides a policy framework that can enable these intangible resources to be transformed into sustainable development assets through the protection and promotion of creativity and innovation.”

“Global growth

As the world economy recovers from the biggest downturn since the 1930s, reinvigorating economic growth post-2015 will continue to be a challenge. This will adversely affect many underlying factors critical for development, especially in the most fragile states – Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. It is the source of improvements to the quality of our everyday lives. In order to increase productive capacity, employment and decent work, and to eradicate poverty through inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth, there needs to be a significant scaling up in support for innovation and in equitable access to its benefits.”

k.) Can you name some ways that creative capacity is not being harnessed as much as it could be at this time?

The paper also discusses topics like the need to promote the acquisition of advancing technologies, IP reform for function, climate change, solar energy, and apps that connect people to health more directly.

We concur with the paper’s conclusion, which echoes our will:

“[S]olutions to sustainable development challenges can only be effective through the vast network of stakeholders in the international community. This network includes scientific (and by definition nuclear and geo-spatial) actors. Through these inter-governmental and inter-stakeholder processes, there will be a scaling up of efforts to support the diffusion of environmentally sound technologies.”

The paper includes a great list of action items conducive to collaboration, building more strength of unity and information sharing, and improving fundamental conditions for our goals, both individually and where they intersect.

“More broadly, within the UN family and the wider international community there has been, and will continue to be, a debate on the appropriate role for intellectual property systems, and how to balance the incentive to create and innovate with the need to share the fruits of creativity. The Millennium Project Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation sets out the contribution that can be made to human welfare, energy, health, water and sanitation, as well as political stability and global security. The document sets out in detail the full range of contributions that can be made (http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/tf-10finaldraft10-4.pdf). While views may differ this does not hide the need, now and in the years after 2015, for a genuine partnership, in particular between the public and private sector. This partnership must provide the basis for a science, technology and innovation ecosystem where a genuine commonality of interest in the shared challenges facing humanity can be addressed, where creativity and innovation is properly rewarded, and where the fruits of that creativity and innovation can be equitably shared.”

The paper’s Contributions section provides a great outline of the scope of the creative-class field that is opening up as these sorts of united development declarations take hold and continue moving forward due to the efforts of increasing numbers of advocates from multiple fields.

This is a vast discussion. Further and ongoing consultation and research is a general theme throughout. We are on board and resolve to integrate with this confluence more over time. Further reports and engagement from various people and groups are looked forward to. Our jobs are never done and never done fast enough as volunteers, stewards, civil servants, and public servants who save lives.

Here is another good perspective on the big picture of things to take into account.

A Holistic Approach to the Post-2015 Strategy - http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/431098:

“Their attributes depend on their species, while their numbers represent individual populations. Hence, the possibility of our continued existence as a species, depends on ensuring the continued bio-diversity on earth, and ensuring that no species are threatened with extinction, nor yet engage in unrestricted population increase. So, rational birth control is not a mere question of rights or choice, it is concerned with the existence of life as we know it.”

It is desirable to pursue policies that support species-minded big-picture balancing in context of the whole, as one of many tasks of us all, without becoming alarmist about its moderate priority level or even allowing it to impede the crucial momentums of various progressing and converging indefinite-life-extension avenues to the defeat of non-communicable diseases.

There is a 2005 Scientists’ Open Letter on Aging Research (http://www.imminst.org/cureaging/) with 57 signatories from places like the Danish Centre of Molecular Gerontology Longevity Genes Project (http://www.dcmg.dk/), the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies (http://www.barshop.uthscsa.edu/index.html), and Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., as well as authors of books like Biology of Life Span and Biology of Aging: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology,1 in addition to many other accomplished organizations and people with expertise in longevity science. These signatories stand behind the reality that

“Aging has been slowed and healthy lifespan prolonged in many disparate animal models (C. elegans, Drosophila, Ames dwarf mice, etc.). Thus, assuming there are common fundamental mechanisms, it should also be possible to slow aging in humans. 

Greater knowledge about aging should bring better management of the debilitating pathologies associated with aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer's. Therapies targeted at the fundamental mechanisms of aging will be instrumental in counteracting these age-related pathologies. 

Therefore, this letter is a call to action for greater funding and research into both the underlying mechanisms of aging and methods for its postponement. Such research may yield dividends far greater than equal efforts to combat the age-related diseases themselves. As the mechanisms of aging are increasingly understood, increasingly effective interventions can be developed that will help prolong the healthy and productive lifespans of a great many people.”

l.) We recommend that civil-society members working with non-communicable diseases through the Post-2015 Development Goals, as well as other interested parties, consult with people from the list of signatories of the Scientists’ Open Letter on Aging Research, in an effort to develop the strongest and most thorough policy and decision-making structures possible.

Of course, they aren’t the only good contacts. Another good list of relevant people and organizations is here: http://whoswho.senescence.info/.

Aging is a disease. Our supporters understand the source of the commonplace urge to downplay its negative effects. However, the current generation of developments around the world, as well as the need to solve this dire problem and the increase in available tools, resources, and will to do it, makes now the right time to solve this challenge: http://immortallife.info/articles/entry/radical-life-extension-and-the-spirit-at-the-core-of-a-human-rights-movemen.

A report on a business-counsel luncheon at the UN (http://www.unfoundation.org/assets/pdf/bcun-july-newsletter.pdf) shows that international organizations are on the right track with valuing the human capital in our older generations, but might not have the right message in mind when it comes to how to approach the seriousness of the need to respond to aging.

“ The overarching message was the need to change the perception of ageing as a problem, burden, or disease—and instead embrace older people as a resource whose great potential should be unlocked—not only for the sake of safeguarding their protection and human rights, but also to ensure that their valuable contributions to society are not lost.”

Maybe they’ve just got their hands full with what they are working on, or they are encountering other obstacles. In any case, our specialists and support networks are here to hold up the part of this development situation that requires a proportionately responsive problem-solving incursion into the mechanisms of cellular senescence.

We concur with the following plea from Jack T. Watters, vice president of external medical affairs at Pfizer, who suggested at the luncheon that:

“omitting the issue of ageing from the MDGs caused a huge gap that left out an entire generation in national development efforts, and should be filled by including the new population dynamics in the post-2015 deliberations in their own right. He echoed the call for public-private partnerships, which have been extremely effective in the past 15 years, and for the strategic pooling of resources—especially in the face of recent budget pressures in every sector. According to Watters, bold action with a common voice will be required to push the momentum forward. ‘Advocacy is how this is going to happen’, he said. ‘Ageing will not get on the post-2015 agenda on its own accord’.”

m.) Support a strong approach to significantly extending human health-span and longevity and call on your fellow longevity advocates to contact people like Jack Watters about potential collaboration on common projects. Our advocates bring valuable insight on why NCDs are the world’s biggest common opponent, proven strategy techniques on how to approach more of the multitudes of proven, promising research pathways that can be exhausted to find enough answers and ways through to get this job done, and various other strengths, including

“articulating a request for data and guidance to help the parties involved in the negotiations to determine what investments are required to honor the rights of older people and whether current legal frameworks and international cooperation systems are sufficient to support and empower them.”

n.) Let us all come to more round-tables with activists like these and negotiate for objectives like more detailed wording that can help ensure the elderly rights to access values like indefinite-life-extension treatments. Yes, it could end up being expensive to produce. We suggest a meeting to discuss how we can keep the costs of potential life extension treatments down. However, influences such as the changing economic structure in a world that has the chance to tap nearly unlimited renewable energy, and other paradigm-altering changes, could pose other sorts of challenges for us to consider. Things could become a lot easier than we have ever imagined. They could also become more complicated; for example, responses to these challenges could include strategies to help set up favorable non-political circumstances if power structures were determined to be a negative factor to access and equity.

Mainstreaming ageing into the post-2015 process - http://www.helpageusa.org/silo/files/global-agewatch-policy-briefing-1.pdf - February 2012:

This paper discusses the need to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of the oldest generations, and acknowledges the need to fight NCDs a little bit at the end. Here is another opportunity for our people to get in with groups like the paper’s authors and make sure that we emphasize the importance of establishing the fight against the NCDs of aging as a top world priority and taking them on head on.

Life-extension communities generally align themselves with researched outlooks like the 2010 Demographic Consequences of Defeating Aging (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/rej.2009.0977) report by Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova.2

The authors tell us, in part,

“A general conclusion of this study is that population changes are surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For example, we applied the cohort-component method of population projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long 100-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population increases by 22% only (from 9.1 to 11.0 million). Moreover, if some members of society reject to use new anti-aging technologies for some religious or any other reasons (inconvenience, non-compliance, fear of side effects, costs, etc.), then the total population size may even decrease over time. Thus, even in the case of the most radical life extension scenario, population growth could be relatively slow and may not necessarily lead to overpopulation. Therefore, the real concerns should be placed not on the threat of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation), but rather on such potential obstacles to a success of biomedical war on aging, as scientific, organizational, and financial limitations.”

For a detailed set of population projections, the compilation World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision (http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/) is informative.

Health in the post-2015 UN development agenda - http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/untaskteam_undf/thinkpieces/8_health.pdf:

”The Millennium Development Goals, despite any weaknesses, remain a powerful tool for focusing the world’s attention on development issues. While intended as one means of monitoring progress, the way goals are defined inevitably influences how the world understands development and the ways in which it can be advanced.”

Without additional cooperation, the Post-2015 Development Goals and similar aspirations might not go far enough, nor become realized to a satisfactory degree. However, if we all put in the requisite work, time, research, and thought – and put our internal differences far enough aside to allow us to cooperate on related issues, for the sake of the growth of the strength of the health sector and human development as a whole – then people can continue to contribute to the strengthening of this important system. These are life-and-death decisions. Deliberation, action, and cooperation are important elements of working together to secure life. Victories like these are not handed to the unprepared and the divided. They emerge from working together to take great shots at alleviating human suffering, securing human capital, and winning time to experience this amazing world and mysterious universe. We activists are here to help the world take action and secure chances for critical victories along the road to the ultimate goal of indefinite health sustainability.

o.) Many of us are also interested in the answer to these questions posed by the framers of the Post-2015 Development Goals: “How to frame health goals from a global rather than developing country perspective? And how to position health in the context of sustainable development?”

Whereas the framers of the Post-2015 Development Goals take an approach of access, we take an approach of stopping the carnage first, and figuring out how to distribute treatments along the way or later. We definitely do not pursue aims such as figuring out how to make it perfectly politically correct, dwelling on semantics, or building strategies with limited NCD focus.

“The common thread for the global agenda is the need to change the focus from developing health systems that deal with selected diseases and conditions. Instead the focus becomes ensuring access to services, using innovation to foster efficiency, preventing exclusion (particularly of poor women and girls) and protecting people against catastrophic expenditure when they fall ill through extending universal health coverage.”

Another area of agreement is that

“it is no longer viable to think of solutions in terms of individual sectors [but rather it is desirable to maximize] benefits, through coherent policies across several sectors.”

The goal of working toward sustainability is important so that additional people can diminish humanity’s common development challenges to a lower level of urgency. The developed world is eager to help other parts catch up so we can all unite against aging. The goal of sustainability is important, but research and general contributing support from the millions of people that are there to be reached right now is the priority between them.

“The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the equity of these conditions, have a greater impact on population health than health care services.”

“Focus: A limited number of goals, measurable indicators, and a defined timeline resonate well with politicians and the general public. Similar attributes will be needed in the post-2015 agenda.”

There is a simple, measurable social-support goal for this focus, coordinated as a movement for indefinite life extension task, and there are a variety of groups and organizations with goals ready for consideration and inclusion. The SENS Research Foundation, for instance, has a timetable for funding, as well as definitive research goals that could bring about the defeat of age-related diseases.3 The SENS August 2014 Rejuvenation Biotechnology conference (RB2014) in Santa Clara, California, brought people from a variety of health industries together to discuss a unified approach toward the acceleration of rejuvenation biotechnology.

Next Big Future wrote the following about RB2014 - http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/08/goals-and-predictions-from-sens-2014.html:

“George Church plans to use CRISPR gene therapy to incorporate what they learn from the supercentenarian studies, long lived animals (tortoises) and whatever they must create new using synthetic biology.

Peter Diamandis discussed his Human Longevity Inc startup which he co-founded with Craig Venter.4

Human Longevity Inc has the Goal of adding 30-40 years of healthy lifespan.

They are a data driven company.

Human genome and phenotype data, microbiome, full body MRI, metabolomics, proteomics
that makes the premier human health database.

Cellgene is an investor and made their stem cell lines available.”

Sierra Sciences has their eye on a very large catalogue of chemicals that its scientists want to test for various life- extending properties, if the company could only maintain its ability to secure and get these chemicals into its labs.

Organizations like the Maximum Life Foundation and their Manhattan Beach Project, run by investors who are dedicated life-extensionists, have strategies for high-level investment and funding in core life-extension research and projects with ambitious goals. Thousands of people are confident in these competent engineers of longevity extension. They tell us that,

“The magnitude of these benefits in our lives will be determined by the actions we take. The Manhattan Beach Project has earned the distinction of being the ultimate champion of the life extension movement by:

  • Serving as a trusted advocate for our ongoing health related needs

  • Fostering deeper collaboration in the scientific community, to accelerate the rate of discovery

  • Sharing these amazing life-enriching breakthroughs… and,

  • Ensuring we all take the appropriate steps to apply them in our lives.”

Team up with these organizations when and where you can. Read about and show support for them, talk to them, and work on getting involved from there.

“But there is also a need to give greater attention to means and intermediate processes, with targets and indicators, focusing on policy coherence without becoming prescriptive to policy makers and taking into account that national realities are diverse and ‘no one size fits all’.” (Health in the post-2015 UN development agenda)

That’s right, and people, projects, and organizations like the ones mentioned above and at the MILE page - https://www.facebook.com/movementforindefinit
elifeextension/info?ref=page_internal
- are ready to collaborate in helping us all to make that happen for our common projects and in areas of overlap between them.

Here are some final thoughts from Health in the post-2015 UN development agenda:

“The challenge is how to frame an overarching health goal and target in a way that drives change that is relevant for all countries; that acknowledges health as a global concern (and thus as something for which countries have collective as well as individual responsibilities); that appeals to politicians and the public; and is actually measurable. No easy task.”

That is agreed. We strategize with the details of these topics on a daily basis, adjusting for performance as we go.

“The discussion of a new set of global development goals, and health’s role within such a framework, has some way to go.”

There were a few voices from indefinite life extension present in the UN discussions, like this one, which urged an effort

“to start [a] public information campaign aimed to promote ageing prevention measures.”

The April 2013 Health in the Post-2015 Agenda - Report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Health (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/file/337378/download/366802) relates that

“In the UN Political Declaration on NCDs in 2011 Member States unanimously affirmed that the scale of NCDs is one of the foremost challenges to social, economic, and sustainable development in the 21st century. Reflecting these realities, the prevention and control of NCDs was identified as a priority in many of the inputs to the consultation.”

The authors touch on research but do not focus on it. They say that people are a better focus than disease. When a population is being transgressed upon by deadly elements, we should work to stop those elements rather than working to help make sure that people are comfortable while those elements dismantle them.

The state of world focus on NCDs is currently in a crisis. Now that the tools and insights needed to work in this area are here, people can perform enormous amounts of research that is now waiting to be completed. Our living generations are among the finest products of thousands of years of human intellectual evolution. All this creativity unleashed at magnificent times such as these makes for an excitingly challenging time to be alive.

Our people are hungry for breakthroughs, and there are a lot of us, and at all levels. This is a seriously grand human undertaking that we work with, one that is harmonious with the Post-2015 Development Goals.

p.) Encourage people to ask their representatives what they are doing about aging and to vote favorably on the issue themselves, while also working to influence the people they know to do the same. There is no sustainability, equity, development, or capital produced or stored in graveyards. This priority should be highlighted in world development goals, policies, methods, and actions.

As the WHO states in Health in the post-2015 development agenda: need for a social determinants of health approach - Joint statement of the UN Platform on Social Determinants of Health - http://www.who.int/social_determinants/advocacy/UN_Platform_FINAL.pdf:

“Moreover, these social conditions are shaped by patterns of national and international economic development, international commerce, environmental conditions, finance, advertising, traditions, culture and communications. Addressing these underlying drivers is a worthwhile investment. An investment of US$ 11 billion spent on cost-effective interventions against non-communicable diseases can prevent over US$ 47 trillion-worth of future damage to the world’s economies by 2030. If unaddressed, the NCD burden will in turn explode government budgets in the coming years, and will have a huge impact on sustainable development.”

A Case For Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Agenda by Omoruyi Aigbe - https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140629195404-6
2892927-non-communicable-diseases-ncds-in-post-2015-millennium-development-goals-mdgs-agenda
:

“Why prioritize NCDs on the Post-2015 MDGs agenda? What are the development and other challenges: social and economic impacts of NCDs?

Health is wealth and is essential to the millennium goal of reducing poverty as well as an important measure of human well-being. It should be at the heart of the MDGs.”

As we are reminded,

“In 2004 there were 59 million deaths world-wide, NCDs accounted for 60% of these deaths and injuries, violence accounted for only 10%. By 2020 it is estimated that NCDs will account for 73% of all deaths (GBD 2004, Updated 2008).”

This is an urgent priority.

“NCDs- principally Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases are the world's leading cause of death, responsible for 36 million of 57 million deaths in 2008 (WHO, 2010). A rapid growth in the severity and magnitude of the NCD epidemic means that health and development policy worldwide will increasingly center on the burden of Non-communicable diseases. NCDs have already reached epidemic proportions around the world, and low and middle-income countries (L/MICs), which currently account for over 80% of global NCD-related deaths, will continue to bear a disproportionate share of future deaths.”

The increasing burden and the big picture of this growing issue are moving closer toward center stage. Retaining human capital means development. It means sustained freedom and dreams. Why should people be eager to build up big goals when they are in their 60s or older, when their accomplishments will be up against increased susceptibility to random permanent death at the hands of non-communicable diseases? These are diseases regarding which our scientists have developed complex knowledge and have worked to remedy with success multiple times, using the newest powerful tools (http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/schulke20140201).

“In February 2013, the UN Media Services, reports Helen Clarke, UNDP chief, stating that NCDs belong ‘permanently on the global development agenda’ while Director-General of the WHO, Margaret Chan has been vocal on the need to reform health systems ‘towards long-term care or towards prevention that requires efforts well beyond the health sector.’”

These are two good examples of support for permanent NCD top-importance status.

“The MDGs post-2015 agenda debate, therefore, offers an exclusive opening to bring NCDs into the global attention and to develop novel idea and resources needed to tackle health challenges. It opens the door, moving forward and towards a concrete basis for targeting new set of goals that are responsive to shifting views of the relationship between individual behavior, social norms and disease states.”

It may or may not be too late to influence the language of the Post-2015 Development Goals, but we are in favor of the process of doing so and are willing to work together more regardless.

The themes of these papers show strong common support for many of these key issues. We fully concur with this statement too:

“Additionally, [including NCDs in the Post-2015 Development Goals] paves the way for practical approach towards policy formulation that reflects the reality of needs around health in different countries and settings, and also allows for the selection of measures and interventions best able to meet these needs.

The negative impact of NCDs cannot be overemphasized, it threatens progress towards MDGs. Poverty, hunger and starvation is closely linked with NCDs. The growing rate of NCDs is predicted to hold back the progress made in poverty reduction initiatives in many countries, mainly by forcing up household costs in L/MICs and especially among low-resource population, health-care costs for the four dominant NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes or chronic lung diseases can quickly drain household resources, forcing families into poverty.

NCDs affect the poor and wealthy alike in every country around the world. What distinguishes the impact of NCDs in developed and developing countries is the availability of resources for prevention, treatment, and for encouraging healthy lifestyles.

In conclusion a new agenda for global health, under the umbrella of post-2015 MDGs, offers a unique opportunity to mainstream NCDs into the development agenda. There is room to bring into the fold previously excluded priority areas that are integral to addressing the needs of the world’s poorest individuals and countries, as well as the needs of the more affluent ones, which are facing their own challenges during a period of social and economic upheaval. NCDs are but one area where health is closely linked with a range of factors undergoing their own changes in an increasingly complex and global world.

As the sustainable development agenda garners renewed attention and increased political momentum, the global dialogue on sustainable development must address health and NCDs as a major component of preventable ill health and death. If the priority is for social development and investments in people, post-2015 MDGs would include: NCD.”

q.) Embedding non-communicable diseases in the post-2015 development agenda -http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)61806-6/fulltext:

For indefinite-life supporters, the situation might soon get to the point where only around 75% of the necessary progress remains to be made in resolving this issue in its full scope.

From the abstract:

“The approaches to prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been elaborated in the political declaration of the UN high-level meeting on NCDs and governments have adopted a goal of 25% reduction in relative mortality from NCDs by 2025 (the 25 by 25 goal), but a strong movement is needed.”

Like the movement for indefinite life extension, the war on aging and the Manhattan Beach Project. This paper recommends an effort

“based on the evidence already available, enhanced by effective partnerships, and with political support to ensure that NCDs are embedded in the post-2015 human development agenda. NCDs should be embedded in the post-2015 development agenda, since they are leading causes of death and disability, have a negative effect on health, and, through their effect on the societal, economic, and the environmental domains, impair the sustainability of development.”

“Throughout the previous decade several conferences and declarations addressed development, but none resulted in a vision statement or concrete goals that captured international attention.”

That seems like a lesson to learn from when it comes to working with aging-oriented policy, too. We need a vision of goals that can inspire the world to want to take part. That is, in part, why many activists work with MILE. It is a goal-based expedition that accurately describes what we are after. That is also what action items like these tasks are for: https://www.facebook.com/notes/799104433443401/. The tasks that need to be performed for the projects listed there are components of the organizations and initiatives that are carrying these goals forward toward various milestones and achievements at this very time. We need collaboration through a wide movement, as well as a quickening of pace by working on the overlapping goal of sustaining health in order to have the best shot at making this happen as soon as it can possibly be made to happen. People are dying. There is no time to waste. This is imperative. Strong and wide collaboration and cooperation are urgently required.

“A follow-up agenda must address other aspects of development that are not in the MDGs. For example, it should recognise the failure to address key environmental indicators, and it should aim to improve health, reduce inequities, and alleviate poverty within ecological constraints. We review the prospects of a follow-up arrangement to the MDGs, and provide evidence for why such an arrangement should include NCDs if it is to achieve universally agreed development goals.”

We are behind these statements, too:

“[The] agenda should focus on human development and address many, if not all, the issues in the Millennium Declaration (e.g., human rights and inequalities) that did not a find place in the MDGs. The name is important. The term development without qualification is contextually neutral.

Development has many aspects. To qualify development by attaching sustainability as a descriptor is not enough. The agenda should be known as the post-2015 human development agenda to be addressed through sustainable human development goals.”

The following steps in the right direction are applauded:

“[P]rovide a logical sequence and structure to the process launched almost 20 years ago and serve as a meaningful framework to catalyse commitment and action around sustainable development issues. The sustainable human development goals would not replace the MDGs, but rather complement them and augment progress toward achieving the MDGs fully. They would be universal in their application and provide for different national approaches to sustainable development. The 2012 report of the Secretary-General’s high-level panel on global sustainability endorsed the creation of sustainable human development goals. Although they might not include NCD prevention and control as a stand-alone goal, because of the importance of health for human development, the sustainable human development goals should include health and under that heading appropriate targets and indicators for reducing the burden of NCDs.”

We fully agree with the following:

“Health is valued very highly universally. The Gallup International Millennium survey of 57 000 adults, representing 1·25 billion people, showed that health was what mattered most in life, followed by a happy family environment. Health is both a result of, and contributor to, sustainable human development. According to Amartya Sen, ‘health is in general freedom-enhancing, by expanding our capability to do what we have reason to do’. NCDs affect health so much that their presence makes it impossible for health to be fully achievable as an end or goal of human development; they prevent health from playing its part as one of the means by which human development can be made sustainable.”

“NCDs in the sustainable human development agenda

As affirmed by the first principle of the 1992 UN Declaration on Environment and Development, ‘human beings are at the center of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. However, chapter six of agenda 21—about protecting and promoting human health as the framework for action of the Rio declaration—made no reference to NCDs. Before and immediately after the Johannesburg conference in 2002, a case was being made for considering NCDs as important for development.”

“The economic toll for low-income and middle-income countries alone is projected to reach US$21 trillion by 2030. This cost is a huge strain on the development process and diverts resources that could otherwise find more productive uses.”

“Most NCD deaths are preceded by long periods of ill health, which is costly in terms of both family finances and health system capacity. Strong evidence suggests that the hidden costs of caring for people with NCDs can push families into poverty. In most low-income and middle-income settings, proper diagnosis and treatment are unaffordable. A World Bank study of India noted that cardiovascular disease led to between 1.4 million and 2.0 million people spending more than 30% of household income on health care (catastrophic expenditure), impoverishing between 600,000 and 800,000 people. Cancers imposed catastrophic expenditures on an additional 600,000 people and led 400,000 to fall into poverty. Health-care costs are only one financial risk to households. Spending on care for people with NCDs, as well as on consumption of the products that cause such diseases (e.g., tobacco and alcohol) displaces funds that might have otherwise been used for children’s education and food.”

“Although some governments are making efforts to increase public health spending (such as the rapidly growing economies of India and China), health budgets will still be stretched if they are to address NCDs while improving the effectiveness of their health systems.”

“The acceptance both nationally and internationally of the need to embed NCDs in the post-2015 development agenda will depend on the input of many people and groups and the persuasion of many parties. The creation or stimulation of an epistemic community—consisting of a broad coalition or network of informed, knowledgeable professionals—to include health and the NCDs in the post-2015 development agenda could be crucial for advocacy. Such a community does not ignore the relevance of NCDs to other aspects of development or the sustainability of that development. The importance of such a community for HIV/AIDS has become apparent, and the basis for one already exists in the NCD Alliance, the Endemic NCD Group, and The Lancet NCD Action Group.”

Another basis for such a community can be formed through getting the people around you to read about indefinite life extension projects and initiatives, and join related groups, forums and websites.

“The NCD Alliance unites four international federations, each representing one of the four main NCDs.”

Let’s help them team up with all major aging platforms.

Part of the authors’ conclusion is that

“Health must be central in the agenda because it is essential to human development and is an end as well as a means of achieving development. NCDs must feature prominently in the post-2015 development agenda and any sustainable human development goals.”

Here is a great link of related resources: http://ncdalliance.org/post2015resources.

Post2015.org is a blog facilitated by the Overseas Development Initiative (ODI - http://www.odi.org/odi-on/3026-post-2015-high-level-panel) to track what is being said about the Post-2015 Development Goals.

We think this is one of the best outlines for us to get behind:

r.) Rio+20 Outcomes Document: The Future We Want Summary - http://ncdalliance.org/sites/default/files/rfiles/Rio%20Outcomes%20Docu
ment%20-%20The%20Future%20We%20Want%20Summary.pdf
:

“Health and population: Health is a precondition for, an outcome of, and an indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development. Sustainable development will not be achieved in presence of high burden on communicable/non-communicable diseases.

- Acknowledge that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the twenty-first century.

- Commit to strengthen health systems toward the provision of equitable, universal coverage and promote affordable access to prevention, treatment, care and support related to NCDs, especially cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

- Commit to establish or strengthen multi-sectoral national policies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

- Reaffirm the full right to use TRIPS provisions and Doha Declaration on TRIPS to promote access to medicines for all and encourage development assistance in this regard.

- Call to strengthen health systems through increased financing and the recruitment/training/retention of health workers, improved distribution and access to meds and improving health infrastructure.

- Commit and consider population trends in development policy, emphasize need for universal access to reproductive health including family planning and protection of human rights in this context.

- Commit to reducing maternal and child mortality, gender equality and protection human rights on matters related to sexuality and work to ensure health systems address sexual and reproductive health.”

Priority actions for the non-communicable disease crisis -http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)60393-0/fulltext:

Part of this paper’s abstract states that

“The Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance propose five overarching priority actions for the response to the crisis—leadership, prevention, treatment, international cooperation, and monitoring and accountability—and the delivery of five priority interventions—tobacco control, salt reduction, improved diets and physical activity, reduction in hazardous alcohol intake, and essential drugs and technologies. The priority interventions were chosen for their health effects, cost-effectiveness, low costs of implementation, and political and financial feasibility.”

We need things like essential drugs and technologies at all justifiable costs.

Tackling NCDs: a different approach is needed - http://www.thelancet.com/journ
als/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60800-9/fulltext
:

Abstract: “Jan De Maeseneer and colleagues (May 19, p. 1860) suggest that the sole priority response to NCDs is to ‘promote people-centred care through investment in integrated primary care’.”

This component is needed in the overall response. Health care alone, though, will not solve the NCD crisis.

“The main reason that NCDs are now on the global agenda is the recognition that public policy actions outside of the health system, not just medical responses, are needed to reduce the causes of NCDs. Our priority for treatment in primary health care is to identify and treat people at high risk of NCDs or with already established disease. This approach will avert millions of deaths in the short term and has been identified by WHO as one of the best buys for NCDs. Additionally, we should be strengthening people-centred and integrated primary health care to deal with all common conditions, irrespective of cause. This approach is recognised in the political statement from the UN High-Level meeting on NCDs, fortunately as part of a much more comprehensive approach to NCDs than advocated by [others].”

The authors are on the right track, we support them, and they can go further. A policy is needed that does not discriminate when it comes to whom to save from NCDs, especially the main NCDs which are driven overwhelmingly by known mechanisms of aging.

Noncommunicable Diseases and the Post‐2015 Development Agenda - A Position Statement of the NCD Roundtable - December 2013 - http://www.ncdroundtable.org/wp-content/uploads/20
13/12/NCDRT-Post2015-Position-Statement.pdf
:

The authors of this paper have the kind of long term vision that is needed. They are not sure how fast to go and are waiting for more people to show up so that they can see how much practicable determination is available. Don’t forget to show up. This is another one of the large-scale projects that we have practiced and prepared for. This is a contest for stalwart activists to lead headlong into.

TST issues brief: Health and Sustainable Development -http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/c
ontent/documents/18300406tstissueshealth.pdf
:

“The Technical Support Team (TST) is co‐chaired by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme. The following TST members contributed to the preparation of this brief: WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UN Women, UNICEF, WMO, UNDP, ILO, PBSO, CBD.”

“Discussions at the March 2013 High Level Dialogue on Health resulted in the following suggestions for the framing of goals and targets in the post 2015 Agenda:

• Maximizing healthy lives could be the specific health goal, in which the health sector would play a larger but far from exclusive role. This goal can be achieved by accelerating the health MDG agenda; reducing the burden of NCDs; ensuring universal health coverage and access; and improving determinants of health through inter-sectoral action and development policies. Achieving better health at all stages of life (childhood, adolescence, reproductive age, older ages) is a goal that is relevant for every country. Interventions from all sectors of society will be required.

• Accelerating progress on the health MDG agenda should build on national and global efforts that have already resulted in significant progress in reducing child and maternal deaths and controlling HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. The new agenda should be even more ambitious, and reaffirm the targets of ongoing initiatives such as: ending preventable maternal and child deaths; eliminating chronic malnutrition and malaria; providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning; protecting women’s and adolescents’ reproductive rights; increasing immunization coverage; eliminating violence against women and girls, including sexual violence and abuse and realizing the vision of an AIDS- and tuberculosis-free generation.

• Reducing the burden of major NCDs requires focusing on prevention of the main risk factors (tobacco use, misuse of alcohol and other substances, obesity and physical inactivity) for cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes (the four NCDs causing the most deaths), and mental illness. Some targets could be based on the World Health Assembly resolution of a 25% reduction of deaths due to these four NCDs by 2025. Other targets could be aimed at prevention by reducing the main risk factors, as well morbidity and disability from NCDs and mental illness at all ages.

• Ensuring universal health coverage and access is suggested as the central contribution by the health sector to achieving health goals and targets. Providing all people with access to affordable, comprehensive, and high-quality services that address basic health requirements and country health priorities is essential to achieve better health outcomes. It is also a desirable goal because people value the security and protection that derives from it. Universal health coverage and access should include the whole continuum of care, especially at the primary health care level (promotion of health, prevention of ill health, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) through all stages of life.”

That last excerpt makes for a good overall summation of the approach that exists without a strong indefinite-life-extension presence in there.

They are on the right track. The willpower to work on this field is there. Initial successes have paved the way to a good beginning. One of the many areas that indefinite life extension needs to make progress in is with these kinds of declarations. Life and death are in your hands. Now is the time for indefinite-life-extensionists, health advocates, and life-loving people around the world to pull together and see what kind of strides we can make on these tremendously important issues.


1 Sorensen, Juliet S. “Global Health Law, by Lawrence O. Gostin”. Times Higher Education. 24 July 2012. Available at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/books/global-health-law-by-lawrence-o-gostin/2014635.article. Accessed 12 October 2014.

2 Confederation of Indian Industry. “Need for policies and guidelines for diabetes management in Public Sector Enterprises”. 18 July 2014. Available at http://www.cii.in/PressreleasesDetail.aspx?enc=GsawRCPb7owhNLz5LOjvws4ZDkgphymCIWZwBUUVav4=. Accessed 13 October 2014.

3 Sorensen, Juliet S. “Global Health Law, by Lawrence O. Gostin”. Times Higher Education. 24 July 2012. Available at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/books/global-health-law-by-lawrence-o-gostin/2014635.article. Accessed 12 October 2014.

4 Biology of Aging: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology by Alvaro Macieira Coelho is available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3540438270/102-0314758-4358522.

5 Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova. Rejuvenation Research. April / June 2010, 13(2-3): 329-334. doi:10.1089/rej.2009.0977. Archives of the authors’ other works can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Gavrilov%20LA[auth] and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Gavrilova%20NS[auth].

6 SENS Research Foundation. Recent Publications. Available at http://www.sens.org/research/recent-publications. Accessed 18 October 2014.

7 Wang, Brian. “Rejuvenation Biotechnology Saturday Keynote by Diamandis on breakthroughs to Health Abundance”. 23 August 2014. Available at http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/08/rejuvenation-biotechnology-saturday.html. Accessed 18 October 2014.

(Part I)

 

Eric Schulke is an activist with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension. He was a Director, Teams Coordinator, and Marketing & Outreach team leader at Longecity – Advocacy & Research for Unlimited Lifespans (2009-2012). He attended University of Wisconsin.



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