Minister of Health Pablo Marin represented Belize at the 52nd directing council of the Pan American health Organization in Washington DC last week. Health officials agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases by a quarter by the year 2025. The joint plan of action calls for policies to promote prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and reduce their risk factors. Under the joint plan of action, health officials agreed to specifically promote prevention of NCDs beyond health, expand and provide universal access to health services for NCDs, reduce tobacco intake by 30%, promoting healthy diets to reduce the impact on children, and improve the surveillance of risk factors among others for NCDs. Member countries pledged to give priority to non-communicable diseases in their health development agendas to implement and achieve the planís goals. PAHO will provide technical cooperation to countries to help strengthen and monitor the progress to achieve the planís goals. Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease are the leading NCDs and have been found to be related to a common set of risk factors.