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16 Oct 2022
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High-Level Panel Discussion “From Words to Action for Better Noncommunicable Disease Outcomes” during the World Health Summit 2022

Side Event
Berlin, Germany
1 Days
Programme Area
Special event, Other
Event Focal Point Email
Contact Number
World Health Organization (WHO) (950)
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
The Defeat NCD Partnership
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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes, as well as mental health disorders, are now the dominant cause of death and disability across the world.

Three United Nations General Assembly High-level Meetings on NCD Prevention and Control in 2011, 2014, and 2018, mobilised political commitments at the global level, but their translation into national efforts has been slow and uneven.

Cost-effective, evidence-based interventions to prevent and control NCDs have long been established, however, there is a lack of evidence on how best to deliver those interventions across a full range of existing health systems and diverse populations.

It is time to act now and translate our global commitments into action. NCDs can only be tackled when national capacities and structures are available and capable of providing quality, long-term care to prevent and treat NCDs.

An important aspect of NCD care is access to essential medicines and supplies. Essential medicines can save lives, reduce suffering, and improve health. Nearly 2 billion people globally have no access to essential medicines. This means that essential medicines are unavailable, unaffordable, inaccessible, unacceptable, or of low quality for more than a quarter of the population worldwide.[1]

Universal health coverage can be achieved when healthcare systems are reinforced and there is affordable access to safe, effective, and quality medicines and health products. Countries face a range of obstacles to achieving this, including rising prices for new medicines with uncertainties in the financing, poor forecasting, and supply chains leading to shortages and stock-outs of essential medicines, especially for NCDs, lack of regulatory harmonisation, and inconsistent national essential medicine list, and the growing problem of substandard and falsified medical products entering the global supply chain. Added to this, there are other challenges to ensuring that medicines are not only available but are used appropriately.[2]

Over the past twenty years, remarkable progress against HIV, TB, and malaria has been achieved. By 2019, around 69% of people living with HIV and TB were receiving antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment and 53% of the target population had access to long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. By enabling patients to live longer, antiretroviral therapy has changed the course of HIV/AIDs. However, concerns have been increasing about co-morbidities with other chronic conditions, notably NCDs. Multimorbidity with TB and NCDs is also common since these conditions share multiple risk factors threatening populations' health and further straining health systems.  There is an urgent need for high-quality implementation research to provide robust data on the facilitators and barriers to implementing comprehensive integrated programmes across different dimensions of integrated health service delivery, human resources, essential medicines and technologies, sustainable financing and social protection, and leadership and governance to prevent and control NCDs.

Accordingly, developing country research capacities by increasing a critical mass of researchers to apply implementation science methods for identifying the barriers and proposing scalable solutions, shall be a priority. Innovation and modern scientific methods shall be supported and contextualised to respond to national challenges.

The Defeat-NCD Partnership at The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is organising this high-level panel discussion to recognize the role of young researchers as key changemakers in the world to scale up action against NCDs and enhance mental health and to explore innovative approaches to NCD prevention and control, such as The Defeat-NCD Partnership Essential Supplies Facility for improved access to NCD treatment to achieve SDG target 3.4 by 2030.

Panel discussion, awards ceremony and Q&A session.

Panel discussion, awards ceremony and Q&A session.

This event will bring together policymakers, global health leaders, young researchers, and innovators to leverage their experience and show practical examples of improved access to NCD treatment and care and the lessons learnt.

As part of the event, there will be an award ceremony to support the work of some of the most innovative young researchers from LMICs, working on implementation research to scale-up national NCD responses for achieving SDG 3.4, as selected through the incentive grant programme, rolled out by the Defeat-NCD Partnership, the World Health Organization, and partners.