a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - Non-Communicable Diseases a priority for women's health and development

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Non-Communicable Diseases A priority for womens's health and development

NCD Alliance - 2011 - English This report was released by the NCD Alliance to focus on the specific needs and challenges of girls and women at risk of, or living with, non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), namely cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are chronic, costly but largely preventable diseases. These four diseases share common modifiable risk factors and are a major cause of poverty, a barrier to economic development, and a serious threat to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2009, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the global NCD epidemic as a “public health emergency in slow emotion”.

NCDs are the world’s number one killer, causing 60% of all deaths globally. A staggering 35 million people die every year from these silent killers, of which 18 million are women. NCDs represent the biggest threat to women’s health worldwide, increasingly impacting on women in developing countries in their most productive years. The costs of NCDs to families and societies are high and escalating, in terms of healthcare and lost productivity. For these reasons, NCDs have been identified as a global risk, and one of the most important threats to businesses and economies.

This publication is the first to focus on the specific needs and challenges of girls and women at risk of, or living with, NCDs. It aims to draw attention to NCDs as a priority for women’s health and development, stimulate policy dialogue on the particular issues related to girls and women in the lead up to the first ever UN High-Level Summit on NCDs in September 2011, and inform actions by all partners going forward. It complements existing strategies such as the WHO 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, and builds on plans such as the 2010 UN Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health which refers to NCDs as a key element of improving the health and lives of girls and women worldwide.

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First published here.