A regional NCD Alliance in Africa

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dalilah Kalla, IAPO representative from member Lupus Alert (Mauritius), represented IAPO at two WHO and Civil Society meetings on Non-Communicable Diseases in Mauritius.


By Dalilah Kalla, from Lupus Alert

The establishment of an African non-State actors’ network and the development of a regional implementation framework for the prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) were at the forefront of discussions at the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Regional Office (AFRO) Regional Dialogue Meeting which was held on 17th and 18th October 2016 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava, Mauritius.

This Regional Dialogue Meeting preceded the three days WHO Global Dialogue Meeting, held between 19th and 20th October 2016 and which discussed the role of non-State actors in supporting Member States in their national efforts to tackle NCDs.

The Regional Dialogue Meeting brought together around 40 civil society organizations from across the African region to discuss and deliberate on the contribution of civil society in the NCD response, and on ways of strengthening collaboration and coordination. This meeting was facilitated by workshops in which the representatives shared their experiences, lesson learnt and good practices on the prevention and control of NCDs in the African region. 

One of the major outcomes of this meeting is the setting up of African Regional NCD Alliance which will allow for increased information exchange amongst members, capacity building of CSOs and alliances as well as increased regional advocacy.  We also had the opportunity to review and provide our input into the draft Regional collaboration framework for the prevention and control of NCDs. 

 At the second meeting, WHO Global Dialogue Meeting, we had the privilege to interact with Member States, United Nations organizations, other intergovernmental organizations and non-State actors like the World Heart Federation, philanthropic foundations, business associations and academic institutions. This meeting was co-chaired by the Ambassador of France Mr Gilles Huberson and Dr. Maryam Timol, from the Ministry of Health of Mauritius.

Throughout these three days we discussed the important role of Non state actors which includes NGOs, the Industry and academic institutions in supporting the implementation of government-led efforts to address cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases and the associated risk factors.

The outcomes of these three days were the joint declaration made by the co-chairs, which included the following two elements:
- An appeal to the various non-state actors to support States in their fight against non-communicable diseases in their advocacy functions, to fight for the right to health of vulnerable populations and to protect populations from exposure to risk factors.
- An appeal to international donors to develop their investments to assist in the implementation of national multi-sectorial mechanisms in the fight against non-communicable diseases with the participation of local NGOs.

The final and specific recommendations for both meetings Organizations are being finalised by WHO AFRO, NCD Alliance and WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and will be shared in the final report.

As a member of IAPO and on behalf of Lupus Alert I would like to extend my gratitude towards IAPO, WHO Afro and NCD Alliance for facilitating my participation at these landmark meetings. 

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