Dubai, UAE: Aiming to reduce premature mortality from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) by 25 per cent by 2025, medical professionals and experts from across the world convened at the first Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah on Saturday, to try to bring to light the gravity of the issue as well as its social implications.
Defined as a medical condition or disease that is non-transmittable, NCDs may include autoimmune diseases, heart diseases, stroke, cancers, diabetes, and chronic kidney diseases. Although NCDs can refer to chronic diseases which progress slowly over a long period of time, some NCDs can result in rapid death. NCDs are distinguished more for their non-transmittable quality rather than their duration.
According to speakers at the forum, the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified 100 Core Health Indicators for NCDs, including total alcohol consumption per capita, tobacco usage, children under five who are overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, salt intake, and air pollution in cities. Speakers also said it was important to raise awareness about NCD to children, since almost 70 per cent of premature deaths caused by NCDs result from behavioural habits developed at a young age.
The first Global NCD Alliance Forum, taking place between November 13 and 15, is organised in partnership with local host organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP).
Hosted under the theme ‘NCD advocacy and accountability in the post-2015 era’, the forum brought together 206 delegates, 173 advocates and NCD Alliances from 45 countries. The forum, which is taking place at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, was held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, founder of the FoCP, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and patron of the Global NCD Alliance Forum.
Founded in 2009, the NCD Alliance is a civil society network uniting 2,000 civil society organisations in more than 170 countries. The group is dedicated to improving NCD prevention and control worldwide. By 2025, the NCD Alliance aims to decrease the premature mortality rate of NCDs by 25 per cent; and by a third by 2030.
In his inaugural statement, Dr Shaikh Sultan said that the threat of NCDs has reached a level that is impossible to ignore. “The threat of NCDs is being overlooked by many international governments and communities,” he said, “but it has reached a level that is impossible to ignore, impacting humanity as a whole. We are keen on providing the necessary support to help medical professionals curb the threats of NCDs.”
Dr Shaikh Sultan said the forum was a great way to share experiences, lessons learnt, challenges, priorities and good practices.
He also invited medical researchers to use the medical complex at University City, saying the complex’s state-of-the-art equipment was purposed to help advance medical knowledge. “The medical centre and the hospital are at your disposal,” he said to guests at the forum.
Jose Luis Castro, Chair of the NCD Alliance and Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, said the first Global NCD Alliance Forum is taking place at a pivotal moment. He said that for the first time NCDs have been included in the goals set by world leaders at the United Nations in their efforts to end poverty, reduce inequality and improve health over the next 15 years. He also said it was time to bring theory to practice and meet the strategies set by the NCD Alliance.
© Gulf NewsNov 2015