UK Working Group aligns to bridge the gap on NCDs

Several members of the UK Working Group on NCDs participated in the third Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah UAE in February 2020. Below find some excerpts and links to the reflections from these members.

The Global NCD Alliance Forum aims to convene, unite and mobilise NCD civil society. The focus of the third biennial forum was: ‘Bridging the gap’: looking to accelerate global efforts to turn policy and commitments into action for people and communities most affected. PCI’s Jane Lennon attended the event, representing the UK Working Group on NCDs: one of the global NCD Alliance’s newest members. Hear from Jane on her experience and highlights.

Jane Lennon – Primary Care International (read more here)

The final plenary asked a panel of delegates for their main takeaways:

We are so much stronger and more credible together. Dr Ibtihal Fadhil quoted an Arabic proverb, ‘You can’t clap with one hand’: we must work across sectors.

We have momentum on our side; if we unleash the power of NCD alliance members and activists and patients and government, we stand a good chance of turning the tide’  –Professor Sani Malami, NCD Alliance Nigeria.

Helen Seibel suggested that we should consider alliances’ successes and translate that globally: ‘The solution is probably somewhere in this room, and that gives me a great sense of hope!’

De Marie Hauerslev of NCD Child welcomed the way in which the voice of young people had been reflected not only in the Global Forum itself, but also in the planning process. When Jyotsna Govil asked the youth delegates with ‘Are you ready to pick up the baton?’, there was a chorus of ‘Yes!’ in response.

Katie Dain, CEO NCDA, summarised the Forum as being about inspiration (stories and expertise), determination to close the implementation deficit gaps, and optimism. She also announced that the Global Week of Action on NCDs 2020 will focus on one of the five gaps in the NCD Compass: accountability.

To close the plenary, we were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable video: a rap by Chris Agbega, an Our Views Our Voices advocate from Ghana. You can watch it here – and we guarantee you will be joining in with ‘Enough NCDs, enough, enough!’

Katy Cooper – Coordinator of the UK WG on NCDs & Forum Rapporteur (read more here)

Annie [Bliss] presented in a workshop on ‘Building coalitions and social movements to address NCD multi-morbidities: Health systems for people, not silos for diseases’. She emphasised the importance of meaningfully engaging people living with dementia and young people in advocacy and policy development, particularly around risk reduction, and the need for better training of primary healthcare practitioners to enhance this engagement and reduce stigma. She said: “I was struck by the excellent diversity among the participants at the Forum, in terms of geography, age and area of expertise. I was inspired by the many young advocates living with NCDs, who cogently demonstrated why there must be ‘nothing about us without us’.”

Annie Bliss – Communications and Policy Manager, Alzheimer’s Disease International (read more here)

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