The second Global NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Alliance Forum taking place from 9-11 December begins in Sharjah tomorrow (Saturday – 4pm) in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Patron of FoCP. The organisers, NCD Alliance has chosen the emirate to host the first two editions of the event, where most respected NCD health experts from around the world strategies on how reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases – responsible for more than 40 million deaths globally each year.
Having held the highly successful inaugural edition and influenced global agendas on NCDs in 2015, Sharjah-based Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) will welcome more than 350 delegates and 80 expert speakers to the Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, including scientists, medical pioneers, support groups, NGOs and civil societies from 68 countries such as Kenya, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, Jordon, India, Zanzibar Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Australia, Paraguay, Jamaica, Chile, Philippines, Germany, France, Zambia, Mozambique, Lebanon, Canada, Egypt, Nepal, Cameroon, Indonesia, Finland, Argentina, Ethiopia and many others across five continents.
The three-day forum is being held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder and Patron of FoCP and International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer.
Some of the most respected experts in the field of NCDs speaking at the event include: HRH Princess Dina Mired, President-Elect of the Union for International Cancer Control, who was the first Arab and non-medical professional to have been elected in such a prestigious global post; Sir George Alleyne, a medical graduate of the University of the West Indies who worked under Professor John Waterlow in the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at UWI; José Luis Castro, an expert in global health, organisational development and project implementation, who spent 27 years working on tuberculosis, tobacco control and non-communicable diseases; Katie Dain, Chief Executive Officer of the NCD Alliance, who has been a part of the team since its founding in 2009; Dr. Tom Frieden, one of the world’s leading public health experts and President and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Resolve to Save Lives’, a $225 million, 5-year initiative housed at Vital Strategies; Dr. Sania Nishtar, a Pakistani physician and former federal minister of the Government of Pakistan who has strong civil society credentials as founder of Heartfile. Dr. Nishtar is also co-Chair of WHO High-Level Global Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases; and Dr Alexander Lyon, Senior Lecturer in Cardiology, Imperial College London and Consultant Cardiologist, Royal Brompton Hospital, UK.
The theme ‘Stepping up the Pace for NCDs: Making 2018 count’, reaffirms the NCD Alliance’s commitment to put intentions into action. NCDs – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – account for 68% of global mortality, or two out of every three deaths.
In keeping with the commitment to provide practical resources, a key focus of this year’s forum, organised by the NCD Alliance, a civil society alliance uniting 2,000 organisations across the world is to mobilise high-level political leadership to address NCDs, 80% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Following the opening ceremony by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah at 4pm today, the first plenary session ‘The Global NCD Response: Taking Stock, Reviewing Progress, and Looking Ahead to the 2018 UN High-level Meeting’ begins at 5pm and concludes day one at 6.15pm.
On Sunday, the second day of the Forum begins at 9am with the plenary ‘Uniting the NCD Movement for 2018: Framing the Narrative, Advocating for Action and Amplifying Voices’, followed at 10.45am with the workshops ‘Making a Case for Investment and Financing for NCD Prevention and Control’, ‘Improving NCD Access and Achieving Universal Health Coverage for All’, ‘Joining Forces to Tackle the Determinants of NCDs’, ‘Promoting the Meaningful Involvement of People Living With NCDs’, ‘Driving National Planning on NCDs’.
The second plenary beginning at 1.30pm is titled ‘Breaking Down Silos, Building Synergies: Accelerating NCDs in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’.
At 3.15pm, delegates can attend workshops on ‘Integrating Efforts for NCDs and Women’s and Children’s Health’, ‘Addressing NCDs as a Barrier to Poverty Reduction and Development’, ‘Using the Law to Safeguard Health and Reduce NCDs’, ‘Human and Planetary Health: At the Intersection of NCDs, Urbanisation and Climate Change’, and ‘Ensuring Sustainable Healthy Diets for All’, which brings the end of day two to a close at 5pm.
On the third and final day, an invitation only breakfast takes place from 7 – 8.30am, with doors opening for the plenary session ‘Growing the Movement: Equipping Civil Society to Fulfil its Roles in the NCD Response’ at 9am.
At 11am, workshops include ‘Through the Magnifying Glass: Leveraging Accountability Efforts in NCDs’, ‘Using Research to Advance Evidence-based Advocacy and Policymaking’, ‘Promoting the Best Buys for NCDs: Making the Case’, ‘For the Long Haul: Ensuring the Sustainability of NCD Alliances’ and ‘Promoting a Multi-sectoral Approach to NCDs through Workplace Wellness’.
A final session, ‘National and Regional Advocacy to Maximise the UN 2018 HLM on NCDs’ takes place from 2.15pm – 3.15pm, followed by the closing ceremony of the second Global NCD Alliance Forum which will take place between 3.30pm and 4.15pm.