Non-communicable diseases are long-term ailments, often lifelong in duration. The main types (about 80%) of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory conditions. The other 20% of NCDs include a very wide range of mental and bodily disorders that may affect individuals either alone or as co-morbidities.
NCDs are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. The latter include tobacco use, excess alcohol intake, unhealthy diet with high sugar and salt intake, physical inactivity, and ambient pollution. These are increasingly augmented by the secondary consequences of worldwide trends such as rapid unplanned urbanization, globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles, and ageing.
NCDs are not just medical problems. They have huge personal, social and economic impacts as the people affected are often at the peak of their productive careers and precious investment has already been made in their education and training. Their premature demise or impaired productivity due to long-term sickness or chronic disabilities can impoverish them and their families and dependents. NCDs have already become a major burden on health and social support systems, and a brake to national development.
Aims and challenges
The Defeat-NCD Partnership’s vision is that of a world in which there is universal health coverage for NCDs. This is a direct contribution to the transformational 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to which all nations have subscribed.
Its mission is to enable and assist lower-income and lesser developed countries to scale-up sustained action against NCDs so that they can progress on SDG 3 “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” and, more specifically, to achieve target 3.4 to “reduce, by one-third, premature mortality from NCDs by 2030″. Accordingly, the priority focus of The Defeat-NCD Partnership is on the 49 least-developed and low-income countries with technical capacity building support also available to a further 43 lower-middle-income countries.
Role of Ahimsa Partners (September – December 2018)
The general objective for Ahimsa was to:
- identify and build a relationship with Healthcare companies (Pharma, Diagnostics and Medical Devices) interested to contribute to the Defeat-NCD Partnership and with governments.
- develop and sustain in-country and international partnerships with resource mobilization in support, provide technical advice and assistance to the director of the Partnership,
- support the Defeat-NCD partnership’s wider communications, outreach, and resource mobilization through social media and professional networking, and
- research and reach out to new partners and supporters, in regards to the HealthCare sector.