Last Thursday, June 16th, in New York, at the United Nations, a very important hearing regarding the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases took place.
This interactive hearing, organized by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss, involved non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia. All Member States were invited, too. FDI was there taking a strong position on this issue, once more without losing the opportunity to identify steps for a future action plan.
Jean-Luc Eiselé spoke on behalf of WHPA, too.
Non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes – kill three in five people worldwide. We could ask why there are no more negotiations and outcomes to prevent this kind of diseases worldwide. Maybe because its own name doesn’t help. Regarding this opinion, I underline the report of HRH Princess Dina Mired (Jordan) at the opening session: diseases denominated non-communicable are undervalued in its impact on public opinion. It’s like if they are not communicable there is no need to communicate it or release it, so it’s not important. We have the idea that only what is communicable it’s important, so we have here an elementary problem in drawing attention. And more than ever, social mobilization efforts are needed.
I am deeply concerned with the outcomes of this hearing, which will form the basis for the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly, next September, where I also hope to be present. Our purpose should be to join several opinion makers in order to bring more inputs to this discussion and create a strong circle for a strong call of attention.
It’s our duty, as FDI members, to be aware and to make each government aware of the problem of non-communicable diseases and recommend specific actions for each one. What is being done, and what can be done. How can we communicate what seems to be non-communicable! It will be a marathon to reduce the impact and deaths caused by non-communicable diseases, but a solid start began in NY. And I was there.
(Photo “The UN headquarters in New York” licensed from Steve Cadman/Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)