In the Philippines, Dans said “no epidemic, no tsunami, no earthquake comes close” to the 800 daily deaths from non-communicable disease (NCDs) “It is a disease of the young” he said.Academician Antonio Miguel L. Dans, focal person and member of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) raised the alarm on the NCDs in his paper presented “Introduction to Non-Communicable Diseases.”

NAST President Academician William G. Padolina cited the “quite alarming…tens of millions” deaths worldwide, considering a World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2008 alone. “The Deaths” registered occurred before the age of 60, the most productive period in our lives,” he said. The NCD’s figure continues to rise, with the low – and – middle – income countries having the most number of cases, he added.

The epidemic of NCD such as stroke, heart disease, chronic obstruction pulmonary disease and cancer among others was discussed with experts and the five national scientists during the Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Health Beyond Health Care: Changing the Mindset for the control of NCDs.

The RTD which tackled the extent of the health problem, its causes, and how to prevent them, was conducted by Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST), National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) on August 19, 2014 at Hyatt Hotel Manila.

Our country is confronted with the NCDs epidemic that the scientific community has failed to anticipate and prevent.

Advances in medicines have failed to curb this epidemic and a steady rise in deaths has been noted for the past (four) decades, said Acdm. Dans.

“The death toll from NCD” is like two 747 planes crushing everywhere.” NCDs around the world particularly the big four – cancer, heart disease, stroke and COPD – kill 35 million people every week, with 14 million of the victims between the ages of 30 and 60, the productive years.

The burden of NCDs in the Philippines, includes the 800,000 death toll annually, 800 everyday, and 30 every hour, he said. Based on the studies, he gave the figures on the NCD fatalities, saying no disaster can match the death toll.

There is a quick reaction in times of natural disasters, such as tsunami, earthquakes, or planes crashing, but the “silent disaster” that is NCD does not get the same urgency, Dans noted.

Why? He asked. It is because NCD deaths are happening everyday, all the time and everywhere. So, where do you go to cover? He asked.

NCDs are not the diseases of the rich people, debunking the misconception. “It is actually a disease of poverty” as he showed graphs with NCD cases in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Myanmar, one of the poorest in the region topping the list of countries with the most NCDs deaths.