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NCDs: We Have Had ENOUGH. Have You? – A Global Public Health Campaign

DOWNLOAD THE TOOLKIT

ENOUGH is an NCD Alliance-led campaign calling for the right to a healthy life free from preventable suffering, disability and death from noncommunicable diseases for everyone, everywhere. Death and illness caused by NCDs bring suffering and heartache to millions of people worldwide every year – those who live with the diseases, as well as their families and friends. The greatest injustice: much of this NCD suffering and death is preventable, and we have long known the solutions. This is unacceptable.

The ENOUGH campaign appreciates the support to help build a movement to end preventable death and suffering from noncommunicable diseases. The hope is that for the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, this campaign will show policymakers that they must act now, and you can help.

In addition to a  social media toolkit, the Alliance has provided an array of social assets that you can share with some of the suggested posts, with more being added ahead of the day of action.

From May 31, 2018:

1) Download the social media toolkit and accompanying graphics – remember to share with the hashtag #enoughNCDs.
2) Sign up for their Thunderclap Campaign.

On June 14:

As well as signing up to the Thunderclap, post one of the messages and accompanying graphics from the social media toolkit.  To amplify the impact of ENOUGH, tag friends, other influencers and community leaders!

NCD champions are stepping up to the challenge to raise awareness, motivate investment, and inspire and commit to political action to reverse the trajectory of NCD burden. Consider following their digital channels for the campaign on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Global Health Roundup ~ 05/29/2018

Medtronic Foundation Offers Grants To Improve the Efficiency of Healthcare Delivery

Medtronic Foundation invites organizations to submit project ideas that test or scale innovative solutions aimed at improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Example project proposals include: reducing barriers and addressing gaps in distance, time or workforce capacity; demonstrating health outcomes for underserved populations; and addressing non-communicable diseases. Successful applicants will receive a one-time, one-year grant for $50,000 – $100,000, and will participate in a global learning collaborative facilitated by the Medtronic Foundation. Up to 10 grants will be provided and two webinars will be held for those interested. Health and non-health organizations are encouraged to apply by June 14.

GHC Members and Partners Join Hands to Strengthen National Immunization Programs

On May 15, Yale Global Health Initiative, the University of Global Health Equity, PATH, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance launched a training program to strengthen the management of national immunization programs in Gambia, India, Liberia, Rwanda, and Zambia. The Expanded Program on Immunization Leadership and Management Program (EPI LAMP) is a training course designed to improve the managerial capacity of governments in order to support Gavi’s mission of ensuring that 300 million children worldwide are immunized between 2016 and 2020. The program will address planning, implementation, and monitoring gaps in national immunization programs, especially in countries with inadequate training resources.

Atlanta Enhances its Global Health Impact With a New Health Innovation Hub

On May 9, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, along with the Georgia Global Health Alliance and Deloitte, launched Global Health ATL in the background of Atlanta’s 2018 Bill Foege Global Health Awards. Global Health ATL is an initiative designed to grow the current global health talent pool in the Atlanta metro region, foster health innovation, increase funding for global health programs, and drive impact in disease eradication. The Georgia Global Health Alliance will lead the long-term relationships and collaborations that result from the Global Health ATL initiative. Atlanta is also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and GHC members such as the American Cancer Society, thus making it an ideal city to initiate the next innovation hub. Read the press release.

NEWS BLURBS

1) May 1: Unitaid launched a call for proposals to fund projects to fight tuberculosis and its drug-resistant strains, with a special focus on targeted gene sequencing, a technique that finds genetic mutations in TB bacteria associated with drug resistance. Deadline for submission is June 29, 12 Noon CET.
2) May 8: A new report from WaterAid and PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease (Defeat DD) Initiative showed major gains can be obtained when and if decision-makers act to coordinate, integrate, and invest in child health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions.
3) May 14: The Triangle Global Health Consortium announced that abstract submissions are now open for the 2018 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference. Submissions for panel discussions, workshops, and story-telling are due by July 11, 5 PM ET.
4) May 16: Management Sciences for Health announced a microlearning seminar (June 4-8) to highlight practical solutions for using evidence to inform decision making in global public health.

Kwanele Asante: “It’s Our Lives That Are At Stake”

This post is originally published on Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Global Health NOW and is written by Brian W. Simpson

South African lawyer and bioethicist Kwanele Asante is a non-communicable diseases advocate at #WHA71. (Image: Brian W. Simpson)

Kwanele Asante speaks her mind. And what’s on her mind at this year’s World Health Assembly is real action on noncommunicable diseases.

The South African lawyer and bioethicist lives with 3 NCDs and has participated in a half dozen panels. She wants the millions of other people worldwide with similar conditions to get the kind of quality care she receives. “I don’t want to feel this discomfort of knowing that I have access to privileged health care in a developing world context and the majority of my compatriots don’t have the same access,” she said in a Thursday interview following a side event on universal health care. “It’s immoral. Health is something that we need.”

Are you representing an organization here?

I actually came here on behalf of the NCD Alliance. I’ve recently been asked to join their 2018 Global Advisory Committee, but particularly to help them focus a rights-based appeal for the upcoming UN high-level …  meeting on NCDs.

If we’re going to be in a UN context where, from 1946, the preamble to the UN constitution gives this notion of the highest attainable standard as a fundamental human right of every person. That’s their language, and it’s just very ironic that now we’re sitting in 2018 and when population groups around the world are starting to say, “Hi, we’re going to hold you to your rights discourse,” there is a sense of high-level discomfort as though we’re being revolutionary or we’re being unreasonable.

If you had one major goal to achieve here at the World Health Assembly what would that be?

My one major goal is just to emphasize this message of we need to stop with the rhetoric. It’s nice to have a new [WHO Director-General] who says all the right things, but the proof is really going to be what we do when we go to the UN high-level meeting this time around on NCDs, and what amount of global real resources in terms of finance is going to be given to close the current global health disparities.

Do you feel a special responsibility here at WHA? You’re not only speaking for yourself, but for so many other people who suffer from NCDs?

I feel a particular, very personal responsibility actually. I was diagnosed at age 37. I was told that my prognosis was really bad. I wouldn’t see 38, but I’m here. Once I had recovered my health sufficiently I started working with people in informal settlements in South Africa, and I met 3 awesome women who were living with the complications of chemotherapy like I was. The only sad thing is they all didn’t make their 35th birthday. They died. These were mothers, these were hugely intelligent people, very dignified people, but what was different was they didn’t have access to the essential medicines that I have access to.

I feel a very strong sense of moral duty, and I’m really committed to use my legal training and my voice to just ask everybody to sit up and realize that we’re talking about lives here, you know?

You’re obviously impatient to get beyond the words here to action, to results. Will you leave here feeling optimistic at all or do you feel like it’s just a lot more talking?

I feel more optimistic. I’m exhausted. This was my sixth panel, but I saw especially in panels where I had more engagement, I saw a grappling, I saw a discomfort and a sitting up to say, “Wow, yeah. You’re right. Thanks for calling us out. Yes, we commit.” Even with the one panel I spoke on civil society engagement with DG [Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus], he said, “We need civil society to hold us accountable.” When I started my first panel I promised them that. I told them that I am going to be one of the people who are going to disrupt this opulence and rhetoric, and I’m gonna make them get real. In some platforms I’ll speak in beautiful English. In some platforms I’ll just be in your face because millions of patients’ lives are at stake.

Really, I’m going to borrow the script from the AIDS movement … this notion of nothing about us without us. Patients’ inclusion, substantive inclusion, that’s what we want. We don’t want this peripheral atonement. We want to be central to what’s happening, because ultimately it’s our bodies and it’s our lives that are at stake.

Back To The Circus: Loyce Pace On The Value Of The World Health Assembly

This post is originally published on Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Global Health NOW and is written by Brian W. Simpson

Loyce Pace, the president and executive director of the Global Health Council, at #WH71 in Geneva. Image by Brian W. Simpson

The World Health Assembly can be crowded, exhausting and chaotic yet Loyce Pace keeps coming back. This is her 11th WHA. The reason? For all its flaws, it’s still the people getting together and trying to solve health problems, she says.

Between meetings and leading events with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and other leaders, the president and executive director of the Global Health Council paused to share her thoughts on key issues, including US involvement in global health, universal health coverage and why the WHA is relevant.

What are your priorities here at this year’s World Health Assembly?

If you just think about the agenda items, the actual Global Health issues that are up for discussion, we’re paying attention to all of them, arguably, given our vast membership and broad portfolio, but we’re especially keen to track things like the [General] Programme of Work.

What do you think about it? It’s a good strategic plan for WHO?

I think so, yeah. It’s ambitious, but it fits Dr. Tedros’s brand. I don’t think he was going to come in and propose or attempt anything small. I know that there are outstanding questions about how it gets done. I think he readily recognizes and accepts that challenge. Related to another thing we care about, he recognizes that WHO shouldn’t necessarily do it alone. I think that’s why he’s so confident in it because it’s not really intended just to be a WHO plan. Granted, it lives here. I think he invites multiple stakeholders to help WHO meet those objectives. That’s the only way you can really hit these triple billion targets, honestly, is by bringing all resources to bear.

Other things you’re following?

There’s still work to be done in the global health security space to be sure, which is why we are still very much tracking the issues. It’s not enough to, for example, identify the problems and gaps. We actually have to fill them. In the conversations we’re having as part of our events this week and with government and other stakeholders, they recognize there are still some shortcomings to capacity and response and that readiness and resilience we’re all striving for across all countries. Not everyone is there yet. That’s the reality.

Obviously, Tedros really emphasized universal health coverage as the theme for the World Health Assembly.

He did.

Do you see that there’s real meat on the bone here about that, or is it more of a slogan that he needs to keep maintaining?

That’s interesting. I do view it somewhat as an overarching framework. That works. I think it works as a rallying cry for all stakeholders to come around. I think there are some outstanding questions to your point of how we get it done. Some of that is fleshed out in the Programme of Work and from other forums as well. I think that’s a very important conversation to have with WHO as well as Member States and civil society.

I want to ask you about the US government and global health. When we last spoke here, last year, there was, obviously, the new US administration and a lot of uncertainty and a lot of rhetoric. Tom Price was here and seemed to make nice with everybody and then he was gone. A lot of change. How has the last year has rolled and what your thoughts on the US government presence here?

Last year was a really, wow … . We still had a lot of question marks around the current administration. I remember us responding to the proposed budgets even while during the week we were in Geneva at WHA, but also being very pleased to see the US have a presence and have Tom Price led the delegation, then Secretary Price, and really speak eloquently to a number of issues including global health security and reiterate the US’s leadership role.

I haven’t been able to meet the current secretary [Alex Azar] just yet, but he will be speaking at our event [Thursday]. I know that he has otherwise made himself available for other dialogs, as has his delegation… . They’re still very much showing up and, again, expressing support for this work.

That enables us to be somewhat encouraged that at least US engagement in this space will continue. How that moves forward, no one can ever know under any administration, but there seems to be support for Dr. Tedros and his agenda and, again, an openness to the broader Global Health community with regards to our agenda and asks.

What would you say to people who work in global health about the World Health Assembly and what happens here? Why is the WHA important? Is it actually relevant to what they do?

It’s a fair question. I ask myself why I keep coming back every year. I think I’ve been coming since 2008, which is a pretty long time to show up for this circus that is WHA. There are a few reasons. One is if we really do see the World Health Organization as the premier institution or agency to guide us all to better health for all, then we have to show up and help them set their agenda or at least inform what that should look like. This is where they decide what’s important, what they’ll do, how they’ll move forward with whom and how and why, arguably. That’s critical.

For the person out there who wonders what happens here, I think that’s what it is. There are people in need all over the world of better health and wellness. And [representatives from] countries from all over the world come together and try to figure that out for their people and for the greater good. That’s why I come back every year.

I think one thing we always want to make sure we see is that it doesn’t just stay stuck here. This cannot just be a conversation in the hallways in Geneva, Switzerland, but something that translates on the ground.

It’s another reason why we come because we feel like we represent the voice of the people to some degree. We even have people like that on our delegation. We have people who have been affected by chronic diseases, for example, or who have other personal stories that they can share with country delegates or as part of events so that we all remember why we’re here.

Do you feel that you and civil society, nonstate actors, in general actually do have a voice, do have the access, do have an impact?

I think that that has … been noticeably different this year. I don’t recall a time when there were so many civil society-focused events. There was a major event last night, which Dr. Tedros attended, that focused on civil society engagement. He had commissioned this taskforce to assess how WHO had been engaging civil society and to what degree that could be improved.

They continue to collect information to advise WHO accordingly, but I think that’s a great sign. It was nice to see that culminate last night with the presentation of those efforts but also a commitment to continue that dialog.

Help Shape the Future of Collaboration of Civil Society with WHO

This post was written by Kate Dodson,  Vice President, Global Health, United Nations Foundation. On May 22, Global Health Council, United Nations Foundation and several partners hosted an official side event on the sidelines of the 71st World Health Assembly intended to foster dialogue and build consensus among Member State delegates, WHO officials, and civil society representatives around how civil society can best contribute – in partnership with WHO and governments at all levels and in varying contexts – to delivering the goal of Health for All. View the live-takeaways on Twitter using the hashtag #Together4Health.

Dr. Tedros at the WHA71 side-event on May 22. Photo: GHC

Early this year, at the request of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a Task Team was established to explore how to strengthen WHO’s collaboration with civil society organizations at all levels (country, regional and headquarters), and to examine the range of ways in which civil society can help advance the new General Programme of Work, adopted at the 71st World Health Assembly.

 Through a series of workshops, consultations, and a survey of over 150 globally diverse CSOs, the Task Team has identified opportunities to deepen, systematize and capitalize on WHO’s partnerships with CSOs going forward. This presentation outlines very preliminary recommendations, which will be developed and refined through further consultations with the Task Team, WHO, and CSOs more broadly. This Task Team’s preliminary set of recommendations can be found here: http://bit.ly/CSOTaskTeam.

Now is your opportunity to help shape the future of collaboration with WHO. Please review the recommendations and provide feedback via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDT5CK3

Partnership was a major theme of discussions last week in Geneva. According to Dr. Tedros, “We need to believe in the power of partnerships. This was the essence of the SDGs. We are lagging behind in reaching these goals and we need to work together4health to move forward.” This is just the beginning – the Task Force needs your input as they advise WHO’s next steps.

Please provide feedback no later than Friday, 8 June. The Task Team will convert these recommendations into a full report, planned for a mid-summer release.