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The NCD Alliance yesterday launched the inaugural Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases) aiming to leverage the value of lived experience in health policy, programming and decision-making. The launch coincides with the Global Week for Action on NCDs, which will this year focus on the power of communities to drive change for better health. The Global Charter was developed through extensive consultation with the NCD community around the world. NCDs, including illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, mental health conditions and cardiovascular disease cause more than 70 per cent of global deaths, killing some 41 million people each year.

There is much to learn from the response to HIV/AIDS which was led in part by persons living with the disease who drove policy and programming for, among other things, increased access to patient centred healthcare and medications which at the time were considered experimental. “We recognise the power of communities working together, connected by our collective goal of preventing NCDs and improving the lives of those living with NCDs. The Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance (TTNCDA) is committed to raising our voices to advocate for healthier environments and for the rights of people living with NCDs.” said Dr Karen Sealey, Chair of the TTNCDA.

“If we are to mount an effective public health response to the world’s biggest killer, we need to ensure that people living with NCDs are recognised as indispensable partners, across NCD policy development, programme and service design, implementation and monitoring and accountability. Involving communities is essential to drive progress. The Global Charter can help us get there”, said Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance.

The Global Charter lays out 10 key strategies to guarantee that the voices and concerns of people living with NCDs are considered in the response. It underlines that meaningful involvement is crucial at all stages – from design and planning, through to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of NCD initiatives.

The TTNCDA endorses the Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs noting that this line of action is one of the pillars of its own advocacy agenda.

About the TTNCD Alliance

The TTNCDA brings together nine non-governmental organisations:

• Caribbean Sport and Development Agency

• Chest and Heart Association

• Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago

• Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago

• Heartbeat International of Trinidad and Tobago

• Trinidad and Tobago Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians

• Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society

• Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation

• Tobacco Coalition

Founded in 2017 the purpose of TTNCDA is to be the voice of civil society and persons living with NCDs and to advocate for and monitor the government’s policies and plans for the prevention and control of NCDs, principally, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic lung disease and their common risk factors.

To learn more about the Global Week for Action on NCDs-

Visit the website of the Trinidad and Tobago Non-communicable Diseases Alliance (TTNCDA) at

http://ttncda.org/

Karen Sealey

Chair, Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance