Entebbe- A three-day East African meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has drawn a charter calling for global action to inform the fight against chronic diseases.
“We believe that urgent and decisive global action is needed to improve the lives of people living with or at risk of NCDs in the East African Community (EAC),” said Dr William Lumu, the Uganda Non Communicable Disease Alliance (UNCDA) vice chairperson while briefing the media. The meeting held in Entebbe closed yesterday.
Dr Lumu said action was not an option but imperative and that the charter is targeted principally at governments, regional institutions and the global community and to inform preparations for the forthcoming United Nations High-Level Review on NCDs in New York from July 10-12 as well as regional bodies and institutions including the EAC, the African Union and the World Health Organisation Africa Regional Office.
The stakeholder meeting also reviewed the NCD Alliance East Africa Bench-marking Survey draft report which highlights gaps and good practices and provides evidence in the fight against NCDs.
The report, which is yet to be released, also underlines the increasing burden of NCDs in the region which are being fuelled by increasing vulnerability to risk factors like unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, tobacco use, household air pollution from solid fuels and the underlying social, economic and environmental determinants like urbanisation.
The meeting brought together a wide range of representatives from governments, NCD alliances, NGOs, academia and the private sector committed to accelerating the response to non-communicable diseases in the EAC countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It was organised in partnership with the Danish NCD Alliance, the Global NCD Alliance and the universities of South Carolina, Yale and Aarhus.