Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for over 41 million deaths worldwide each year with 85% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2011, the campaign for the prevention and control of NCDs was introduced as a priority activity by the United Nations. As global health priorities transitioned from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, NCDs emerged as a set of conditions that have direct links to achieving goals and targets of the SDGs.
On Friday, November 20th, 2020 CORE Group hosted the fifth instalment of their NCD interest group webinar series in collaboration with the American Heart Association, Reach and Children's Heartlink. The webinar series entitled; Integration of Noncommunicable Diseases into Global Health Programs: A Roadmap to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, sought to provide an understanding of the progress that has been made in elevating the NCD agenda since the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs and identify opportunities for integrating NCD priorities into global health programs as well as craft sustainable solutions around the challenges that persist.
The fifth and final webinar of the series focussed on the topic of Cardiovascular Diseases in the Young and included presentations from Dr Andrea Beaton of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Dr Wilson Were of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr Ornella Lincetto also of WHO. Panelists included Dr Mahesh Kappanayil of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Ruth Ngwaro of Global Alliance for Rheumatic and Congenital Hearts and Jeremiah Mwangi of Reach. Bistra Zheleva of Children’s HeartLink served as moderator and facilitator.
The webinar centred on three main objectives. First, leading authorities in heart health spoke about developments in the political landscape as well as national efforts to support children living with heart disease. The ways in which international nongovernmental organizations alongside governments are pursuing the mandate of universal health care and the integration of services critical to improving the lives of children with heart disease were also explored.
Second, two seminal publications on advocacy in rheumatic heart disease which also touch on the implications of COVID-19, the research agenda being pursued in these areas, and frontline experiences from implementing organizations and country partners were launched:
- Contemporary Diagnosis and Management of Rheumatic Heart Disease: Implications for Closing the Gap. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
- The American Heart Association’s Call to Action for Reducing the Global Burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease. A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association
Third and finally, advocacy documents including Global Arch’s Declaration of Rights of Individuals Affected by Childhood-Onset Heart Disease and The Invisible Child Call to Action in the COVID-19 Pandemic from Children’s HeartLink were also presented and participants invited to endorse them.