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Healthy Lives For All Depends On Action To Prevent And Control NCDs

Healthy lives for all depends on action to prevent and control NCDs



Activists around the world are raising their voices to say ENOUGH of the apathy, inaction and glacial progress on prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, and calling on governments to deliver on the right to health for all people everywhere.

2 SEPTEMBER 2019, [Geneva] – With the first United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to be held later this month, thousands of people from Tanzania to San Francisco will raise their voices this week (2-8 September) by participating in activities and engaging with their governments to mark the second Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). 

The 2019 Global Week for Action on NCDs, from 2-8 September, an initiative of the NCD Alliance, is themed ‘NCDs and UHC: Delivering healthy lives for all’. It is a unifying and rallying opportunity to celebrate where action has led to progress in improving health, and say ENOUGH to inaction on the world’s largest cause of death and disability. Advocates are calling on governments everywhere to step up and translate commitments into action that will lead to meaningful progress and improvement of the lives of all people, everywhere. 

The global health movement is calling on decision makers to bridge the gap between promises and progress. Ensuring that negotiation and commitments to secure UHC by 2030 are not squandered requires urgent and assertive action and investment in countries to turn words from high-level summits into real and measurable health for all.

“We cannot begin to eliminate the NCD epidemic unless we have true Universal Health Coverage,” said Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance. “It is fundamentally wrong that the health and lives of so many millions of people are challenged by NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers simply because they cannot afford to pay for diagnosis, treatment or care. The UN HLM is a massive opportunity – one that could put us on the path to putting a dent in the curve of the NCD epidemic and ensuring that health services deliver for all.”

The Political Declaration on UHC expected to be adopted during the UN General Assembly later this month is far from perfect – with negotiations stalling due to points of contention over sexual and reproductive health and rights, and migration. Similar to the political declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018, it lacks time-bound and financial commitments, and is weak on ensuring communities affected by poor health are at the centre of the health system response. Despite its weaknesses, the NCD Alliance is satisfied that the majority of priorities advocated by NCD civil society are included in the text in some meaningful way. 

As part of the ENOUGH. campaign, people around the world are sharing their views and voices on the importance of adequate UHC to improve health for people living with NCDs. Many of their messages highlight the opportunity presented by UHC to address challenges they and their families experience due to NCDs, such as social disparities, financial insecurity, and poorer quality of life.

Bruno Helman, a young advocate for people living with NCDs in Brazil said “UHC is the only way to guarantee that a person living with NCDs has the same opportunities of somebody who doesn’t.”

“We have had ENOUGH of governments not putting people’s health first when making policy decisions. We call on leaders to go beyond the rhetoric, declarations and statements and act urgently to invest in and be accountable for actions that will save and improve lives, and avert the inevitable disastrous long term costs to people and communities of dealing with NCDs.” said Lucy Westerman, Policy and Campaigns Manager at the NCD Alliance.



About NCDs

NCDs, sometimes referred to as chronic or long term conditions, are not transmissible from person to person, and include cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and mental and neurological conditions. A large proportion of NCDs are preventable, with major modifiable risk factors including tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and air pollution. 



ENOUGH. Our Health. Our Right. Right Now. is a global campaign focused on reducing the burden of Noncommunicable Diseases on people and communities. The campaign, led by global NGO the NCD Alliance, calls for the right to a healthy life free from preventable suffering, disability and death for everyone, everywhere, now.

As part of the ENOUGH. campaign, the Global Week for Action on NCDs takes place from 2-8 September 2019. Visit for the latest information on planned activities, and perspectives from people living with and working on NCDs from around the world. 



Michael Kessler
Twitter: @mickessler
Spain Mobile: +34 655 792 699