WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of NCDs

Expanding women’s and adolescents’ health: Integrating noncommunicable diseases through a lifecourse approach

On 21 March 2017, The Commission on the Status of Women will host an interactive panel discussion and multistakeholder dialogue on opportunities for addressing noncommunicable diseases through integrative and inclusive approaches that focus on women and adolescents throughout the lifecourse as a CSW61 Side Event.

Melva works for a church in Trench Town, Jamaica. She is pictured here with her mother, having just received a pap smear at a community outreach event organized by the Jamaica Cancer Society
WHO/SAS Becker

If we want to reduce premature deaths from NCDs and meaningfully contribute to the nine global targets, we must implement actions that are inclusive of women and relevant to their unique needs and experiences

Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Head of Secretariat, Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs

For the past three decades noncommunicable diseases - particularly cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases- have been the leading cause of death among women globally. NCDs now account for almost 65% of female deaths worldwide. Over 75% of these deaths occur in LMICs.

This Side Event is a collaboration between co-sponsors Colombia, Japan, Every Woman Every Child, UNICEF, NCD Child, Conference of NGOs in consultative relationship with the UN (CoNGO), Taskforce on Women and NCDs and WHO. It has four key aims to address crucial issues women face in the current epidemic of NCDs:

  • Raise awareness of how NCDs affect women and adolescent girls
  • Explore evidence, experiences and opportunities for addressing NCDs through integration with existing programmes utilised by women and adolescent girls, including in the domains of sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health
  • Explore the opportunity to leverage big data and advanced analytics to provide new insights and inform policy makers on health behaviours that have a bearing on NCDs
  • Synthesise evidence on RMNCAH and NCDs to advance the development of new global indices that can be used to monitor progress on women’s health and SDGs.
  • Highlight the further opportunity to empower women to be a driving force for the provision of an integrated response to NCDs and the SDGs for themselves and their families, strengthening the life course approach for women and girls.

The program will offer new insights to empower policymakers in public health to ensure a future of holistic healthcare for women and adolescent girls. It will also explore key draft recommendations of the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs Working Group 3.1 on the inclusion of NCDs in other programmatic areas.

Co-chaired by His Excellency Beatriz Londoño Soto (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary; Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN Office in Geneva, Co-Chair of WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on the inclusion of NCDs in other programmatic areas) and His Excellency Mr. Hiroshi Minami (Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations) with facilitation from Dr Jonathan Klein (Executive Director of NCD Child) an interactive panel discussion will be conducted with a broad range of multisectoral actors.

These include:

  • Dr Bente Mikkelsen - Head of Secretariat, Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs
  • Mrs Nana Taona Kuo - Senior Manager, Every Woman Every Child
  • Mr Robert Kirkpatrick – Director, UN Global Pulse
  • Professor Gita Mishra – Professor of Lifecourse Epidemiology, The University of Queensland
  • Mrs France Begin – Senior Nutrition Adviser for Infant & Young Child Nutrition, UNICEF
  • Mrs Diana Vaca McGhie – Global Advocacy Manager of American Heart Association International, Taskforce on Women and NCDs.
  • Dr Nata Manabde – Executive Director, WHO Office at the UN.

NCDs are a threat to economic growth globally and lead to increasing inequalities between countries and populations. For women, they also compound existing and pervasive gender inequality.

Without specific attention to the needs of women and adolescent girls, the impact of NCDs threatens to unravel the fragile health gains made over the past twenty years and undermine future efforts to ensure gender equity and healthy lives for all.

Addressing the prevention and control of NCDs as part of a comprehensive life course approach for women must be a sustainable development priority.

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Please contact Louise Agersnap for more information