Global NCD Alliance Forum begins in Sharjah tomorrow - GulfToday

Global NCD Alliance Forum begins in Sharjah tomorrow


More than 400 civil society leaders and healthcare experts from 80 countries to convene at Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre in Sharjah.

The third Global NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Alliance Forum taking place, February 9–11, begins in Sharjah tomorrow, Sunday, at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah. The forum is hosted and organised by Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) in partnership with the NCD Alliance (NCDA).

The three-day event is held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Patron of Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer.

AbdulRahman Bin Mohammad Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health; Sawsan Jafar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Friends of Cancer Patients, UAE; Todd Harper, CEO, Cancer Council Victoria, Australia, and President, NCD Alliance; and Katie Dain, CEO, NCD Alliance will address the audience at the inauguration ceremony.

Host FOCP will welcome more than 400 healthcare experts, policymakers, specialists and other key stakeholders from 80 countries across six continents, who will participate in four plenary sessions and 18 workshops in a bid to transform global commitments on NCDs into action at national and local levels.

Respected NCD health experts from around the world will strategise on how reduce the incidence of NCDs, which according to World Health Organisation statistics is the cause of 41 million deaths annually, equivalent to 71 percent of all deaths globally. The theme this year, ‘Bridging the Gap’, reflects the Alliance’s commitment to accelerate the global efforts to translate political commitments into action and implementation at the local, national and international levels.

This is the third time Sharjah is hosting the Forum, having led the highly successful inaugural edition in 2015 which influenced global agendas on NCDs, as well as the second  in 2017 which  was instrumental in formulating advocacy campaign priorities for the 2018 High-Level Meeting on NCDs, the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, and the Civil Society Atlas, which highlights the tremendous impact of alliances.

More than 40 speakers will be addressing the three main plenaries to bridge major gaps in the global NCD response and prevention, including Zoleka Mandela, Child Health Global Ambassador, FIA Foundation; Sir Trevor Hassell President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, and Board Member, NCD Alliance, Barbados; AbdulRahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, UAE; Dr. Apoorva Gomber, Community Manager/Co-founder, Diabetes India Youth in Action, and Member of Young Leaders in Diabetes, International Diabetes Federation; Grace Gatera, Communications Coordinator, Partners in Health Rwanda/Inshuti; and Mu Buzima; Young Leader, My Mind Our Humanity, The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development.

Other eminent experts addressing the event include Kwanele Asante, Secretary General, African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), and Global Advisory Committee Member, Our Views, Our Voices, NCD Alliance, South Africa; Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, International AIDS Society President-Elect, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malaya, Malaysia; Dr Douglas Webb, Team Leader, Health and Innovative Financing at the HIV, Health and Development Group, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USA; and Brenda Killen, Member of the Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent (IAP), and Director of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Secretariat, Switzerland.

Following the opening ceremony at 4pm tomorrow, the first plenary session will begin on Monday (February 10) at 9:00 am. Titled Saving lives and protecting communities through transformative NCD policies and solutions, Plenary one will shine light on the work of the NCD community and discuss how the collective power of civil society can be harnessed to help bridge the gap, accelerate progress and save lives.

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