Expanding women and adolescents’ health: Integrating noncommunicable diseases through a lifecourse approach
21 March 2017 (New York)
The 61st Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York hosted an interactive panel discussion, “Expanding women’s and adolescents’ health: Integrating noncommunicable diseases through a lifecourse approach”.
The event was organized and co-sponsored by the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCD, Colombia, Japan, Zambia, Every Woman Every Child, UNICEF, NCD Child, Conference of NGOs in consultative relationship with the UN (CoNGO), and the Taskforce on Women and NCDs. The event was well attended with roughly 120 participants. The distinguished speakers included the First Lady of the Republic of Zambia, and the Ambassadors to the UN in New York of Colombia and Japan.
The panel raised awareness about the fact that, globally, over 6 million women die prematurely (between the age of 30 and 70) from noncommunicable diseases every year, and emphasized the unique experience of NCDs faced by women and girls, including aspects of gender inequality and bias.
Speakers highlighted existing and emerging opportunities for addressing NCDs through integration with existing programmes utilised by women and adolescent girls (especially in the domains of sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health) and the potential role for big data and advanced analytics. Also highlighted was the need to ensure women and girls are empowered and meaningfully engaged in any integrated response to NCDs and the SDGs and that all relevant sectors and stakeholders work together to ensure their voices are amplified.
“How might we better address the unique challenges faced by women and adolescent girls, especially in the area of NCDs? What approaches are required to ensure empowerment, ownership and meaningful engagement of these groups?” (Dr Bente Mikkelsen, GCM/NCD)
“What are the emerging trends in gender differences in NCDs? What is required to translate this increasing knowledge into measurable improvements in health for all women and adolescent girls?” (Prof Gita Mishra, University of Queensland, Australia)
“In the current climate where technologies and devices are ubiquitous, how can big data be utilised to improve public health? And how can vulnerable populations like women and young people benefit from harnessing the power of big data?” (Mr Robert KirkPatrick, UN Global Pulse)