|10 February, 2020

Global NCDA Forum hosts workshops exploring the role of government and civil society in handling NCDs

Workshop by FCOP focussed on collective government and societal efforts in effective battling of NCDs

Global NCDA Forum hosts workshops exploring the role of government and civil society in handling NCDs

The third Global NCD Alliance (NCDA) Forum, in its second day today (Monday), hosted a number of informative and insightful workshops and sessions that explored the role of government agencies and contribution of civil-society in combating the ill-effects of NCDs.

The three-day forum being held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah, organised by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) in partnership with the global NCD Alliance (NCDA), has convened 400 guests and attendees from 80 countries across six continents, including key civil society stakeholders, health experts and academics and researchers. The workshops are providing a platform for discussing the global stance on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), exploring the way forward and touching upon related topics.

Government intervention and civil society contributions:

Led by FCOP a workshop titled ‘Promoting whole of government and whole of society action on NCDs’ talked about whole-of-government approach to foster cross-sector government collaboration for propelling result-oriented actions on NCDs, as well as broader health and development plans.

The workshop was attended by Ambassador Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President, Global Cancer Control, American Cancer Society, United States; Ms Bekki Field, Senior Programme Lead, International Cancer Prevention Programme, Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom; Ms Florence Bulte, Head of Sustainable Engagement, Chalhoub Group, UAE; Dr Adel Al Shammari, Cardiac Surgery Consultant, UAE; and Dr Elfatih Abdelraheem, Team Leader for HIV, Health and Development - Arab States, UNDP – Istanbul Regional Hub, Turkey.

The experts in this workshop examined how to ensure long-term and performance driven outcomes for meeting national-level targets and indicators for health and development.

Another workshop named ‘Catalysing action on NCD ‘best buys’: challenges and enablers for policy progress’, by World Cancer Research Fund International, Movendi International, Vital Strategies, Coalición México Salud-Hable looked at World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘best buys’ and their role in saving lives from NCDs. The workshop provided an overview of the recommendations for preventing and controlling NCDs.

Participants in the workshop also highlighted problems like insufficient political will, industry interference, undermining and counter- tactics, silo state-working, and lack of sustainable financing faced by the advocates of the NCD worldwide.

The workshop was moderated by Ms Lucy Westerman, Policy & Campaigns Manager, NCD Alliance, United Kingdom; and was attended by Dr Nandita Murukutla, Vice President, Global Policy and Research, Vital Strategies, United States; Ms Kristina Sperkova, International President, Movendi International, Sweden; Ms Kate Oldridge-Turner, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, World Cancer Research Fund International, United Kingdom; and Ms Ana Larrañaga, Nutrition Chapter Coordinator, Mexico Salud-Hable; General Director, Salud Crítica, Mexico.

The power of laws and policies:

Experts vouched for engaging with law and lawmakers to accelerate action on NCDs in another workshop led by Union for International Cancer Control, McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer. During this workshop, experts affirmed that laws and policies are essential to address the structural drivers and determinants of NCDs and for ensuring treatment for all.

This workshop was moderated by Mr Domenico Iaia, Senior Manager, Capacity Building, Union for International Cancer Control, Switzerland and attended by Ms Suzanne Zhou, Legal Policy Advisor, McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer, Australia; Senator Guido Girardi, Physician and Chilean Senator, Chile; Professor Kaushik Ramaiya, General Secretary, Tanzania NCD Alliance, Tanzania.

‘A people-powered movement: Unleashing the untapped potential of people living with NCDs to turbocharge the response’ workshop by Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance, UNAIDS, Ghana NCD Alliance, Humanity & Inclusion shed light on the lives of people living with and affected by NCDs. The interactive session was moderator by Ms Cajsa Lindberg, President of Swedish Diabetes Association; Member of Our Views, Our Voices Global Advisory Committee, Sweden and was attended by Mr Christopher Agbega, Our Views, Our Voices Advocate, Ghana NCD Alliance, Ghana, Dr Davide Olchini Director of Global Health Unit, Humanity & Inclusion, France; Dr Noor Younes, Medical Doctor, International Rescue Committee; Our Views, Our Voices advocate, Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance, Jordan; Ms Manjusha Chatterjee, Capacity Development Consultant, NCD Alliance, United Kingdom; and Dr Aparajita Gogoi, Executive Director, Centre for Catalyzing Change; Co-Chair, What Women Want steering committee, India.

In another workshop titled ‘Transforming the narrative of childhood obesity’ by NCD Child, World Obesity Federation, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, attendees touched upon the topic of childhood obesity. Experts in this workshop underpinned the need to transform thinking about the rising pandemic of overweight and obesity, taking a holistic approach.

This interactive workshop featured review of the World Obesity Federation’s Childhood Obesity Atlas and was attended by Ms Marie Hauerslev, Chair-Elect, NCD Child, Denmark; Dr George Msengi, Executive Committee Member, Youth Leader, NCD Child, Tanzania; Mr Pierre Cooke Jnr, Youth Technical Adviser, Healthy Caribbean Coalition; Barbados National Youth Parliament, Barbados; Ms Hannah Brinsden, Head of Policy, World Obesity Federation, United Kingdom; Ms Allison Ibrahim Global Educational Consultant; Advocate for Women and Children and Motivational Speaker, Kuwait; and Mr Fale Andrew Lesa, Youth Programme Advisor, NCD Child; Policy Consultant, Asia Development Bank, Aotearoa Representative; UNESCO Asia Pacific Youth Advisory Board, New Zealand.

Putting ‘data’ at the heart of advocacy

In workshop titled ‘The power of data to fuel systems reform for NCDs: Leveraging evidence to achieve planetary and human health’ by NCD Alliance Supporters Group healthcare experts talked about putting data at the heart of advocacy to enable broader inter-connected agendas in the era of sustainable development.

Moderated by Dr Beatriz Champagne, Director of Advocacy, InterAmerican Heart Foundation; Coordinator, Healthy Latin America Coalition; Chair, Advocacy Committee, World Heart Federation, United States, the workshop was attended by Ms Johanna Ralston, CEO, World Obesity Federation, United Kingdom; Ms Maisha Hutton, Executive Director, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Barbados; Professor Bruce Neal Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia; Dr Ibtihal Fadhil Chair, Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance, Board member, NCD Alliance, Bahrain; Ms Diana Vaca McGhie Global Advocacy Lead, American Heart Association, United States.

The biennial Forum, which runs until February 11, is enabling in-depth discussions on the topic of NCDs, with an aim to further the emirate’s mandate of urging a collective action for the NCD epidemic, which is considered as one of the most urgent health and development challenges of the 21st century. Themed Bridging the Gap, the Forum reflects Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi’s and FOCP’s commitment to the global fight to prevent and control NCDs.

-Ends-

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