GENEVA, May 29. /TASS/. The possibility of relocating the WHO’s European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases from Moscow to Copenhagen was among the topics discussed by Russian Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagay and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva on Monday.
"Met with Russia’s Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagay. Discussed WHO’ s scientific and evidence-based work, the move of the WHO Europe Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases to Copenhagen, and Russia’s work to advance maternal and child health," the WHO director general wrote on his Twitter account.
On May 15, the WHO Regional Office for Europe held a special session where the majority of delegates voted in favor of closing the Moscow Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases. The session was convened at the request of 30 regional states who demanded the Moscow Office delegate its functions to the WHO Regional Office headquartered in Copenhagen by January 1, 2024.
Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death in the WHO European region. Major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illnesses account for nearly 75% of all deaths in the region, which includes 53 countries of Europe and Central Asia.
Addressing the 76th World Health Assembly last Tuesday, Russian Deputy Health Minister Sergey Glagolev said that the Russian health ministry had requested that the WHO explain politicized violations of the organization’s procedures. As an example, he cited the ungrounded decision to deprive Russia of the right to host the WHO Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases. According to the Russian health official, the project geared to help countries in need combat these diseases "has been funded solely from Russia’s contributions in the past ten years." The office has become a global center of best practices, he explained.