Third Global NCDA Forum to convene 400 civil society leaders from across 80 countries in Sharjah

SHARJAH, Over 400 delegates including civil society leaders, healthcare experts, policymakers and specialists from 80 countries across six continents are converging in Sharjah for the third edition of the Global NCD Alliance,NCDA, Forum to take forward the emirate’s mandate of turning the spotlight on and galvanising action for the non-communicable disease, NCD, epidemic, one of the most urgent health and development challenges of the 21st century.

The NCD Alliance is a unique civil society network of 2,000 organisations in 170 countries, dedicated to improving NCD prevention and control worldwide.

The Forum is organised by UAE-based non-profit, Friends Of Cancer Patients, FOCP, in partnership with the global NCD Alliance, NCDA, under the theme ‘Bridging the Gap’. Sharjah’s leading efforts in reducing the NCD burden stems from the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and Royal Patron of FOCP, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.

Representatives from national and regional NCD alliances, global stakeholders and experts will unite at the Forum 2020 from February 9-11 in a bid to transform global commitments on NCDs into action at national and local levels. More than one-third of the 170 nations of the NCDA, are attending the three-day event in Sharjah this year.

NCDs cause seven in 10 deaths globally every year, making it one of the leading causes of preventable illness and related disability worldwide (except in Africa). NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental and neurological disorders led to 41 million deaths in 2018 due to high tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity, amongst other risk factors.

NCDs account for 74 percent of all deaths in Middle East North Africa. Joining representatives from the UAE to take the trajectory of NCDs in this region in a positive direction are delegates from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Jordan.

In Africa, WHO estimates that by 2030 deaths by NCDs will exceed the combined deaths from communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional diseases. In the emerging scenario of the rise in NCDs causing ill health, disability and premature death, countries from the African continent at the forum include Chad, Senegal, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Togo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

Source: Emirates News Agency