Youth urged to speak up on health - GulfToday

Youth urged to speak up on health


Some of the youth and health advocates-delegates at the landmark “Global NCD Forum on Child and Youth.”

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

DUBAI: Visiting NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Child chairperson Dr Mychelle Farmer on Tuesday said the youth and young adults have a crucial role in putting forward and pushing for the realisation of the inclusion of children, specifically of children with NCDs (CNCDs) in the universal health coverage (UHC) as espoused by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Farmer was interviewed on Tuesday with regards the stand of NCD Child on UHC.

In the opening ceremonies of the landmark “Global NCD Forum on Child and Youth” in Sharjah on Monday, she emphasised in her speech, the need for unity and coordination, cutting across all sectors around the world, for insurance systems to include children and CNCDs. She said the UHC is essential for all especially if the world wants to achieve the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, which are basically about giving everyone the right to healthy and productive life.

According to the WHO website on UHC, of the considered 33 developed countries in the world, only 32 have institutionalised and implemented UHC as early as 1912 (Norway) and the UAE (1971). Of these, 20 are in Europe, 11 in the Austral-Asia-Pacific Region including Kuwait and Bahrain, and one in North America (Canada).

Farmer told Gulf Today, “At NCD, we would like to see a comprehensive health insurance for child and adolescence through the (UHC) plan that will not only cover minimal services but the broad range of cancer care, palliative relief and mental care services.”

The paediatrician who concentrates on Adolescence Medicine said the youth can help promote everyone’s access to UHC within their communities, “work together in the national level for advocacies” and even reach the higher echelons of regional and international organisations like the UN and the WHO.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, launched at the forum was the Young Leaders Programme purposed towards elevating young voices in terms of NCD dialogues on the national, regional and global fronts.

Welcome to join are the 19 to 30-year-olds open to contribute blogs, speaking opportunities, in-person meetings and support for local policy projects.

Programme founder/NCD Child chair-elect Marie Haurslev said the goal is to “elevate the voices of the young people and ensure sustained participation in the NCD space.”