WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of NCDs

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

21 March 2017 (New York)

Soon Young

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.

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