The Moment For Caring: Global Week For Action On NCDs

Due to socioeconomic status and geographic location, Malaysians living with NCDs are often deprived of quality treatment and standard-of-care.

Entering its fifth year, the Global Week for Action on NCDs is an annual event celebrated in the middle of September. First launched in 2018, the Global Week for Action on NCDs unites individuals, communities, and governments worldwide in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Led by the NCD Alliance, the Global Week for Action on NCDs aims to raise awareness, inspire action, and unite the NCD movement each year under a specific theme, focusing collective efforts on reducing the global NCD burden and promoting health equality.

In 2023, the theme of the Global Week of Action on NCDs is “Bridging the Care Gap”, and the primary message for this NCD Movement is “The Moment for Caring”. It is a time to care.

It is easy to overlook the silent and steadily growing epidemic of NCDs. Currently, NCDs are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are responsible for 74 per cent of all deaths worldwide. 

Most NCDs are preventable. While genetics play a role in some cases, the majority of NCDs are closely linked to modifiable lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Through education and policy changes, we can significantly reduce the incidence of NCDs.

Additionally, concerning treatment, care, and support, there are inequities in accessing health care for people living with NCDs. Due to social factors such as socioeconomic status and geographic location, people living with NCDs in Malaysia are often deprived of quality treatment and standard-of-care.

With the 2023 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) held on September 21, 2023, the NCD Alliance and NCD Malaysia call on heads of state and governments to take the necessary steps to achieve UHC. For this campaign and NCD movement, we advocate for our leaders to commit to the following four priorities:

  • Invest in the prevention and control of NCDs through adequate, predictable, and sustained resources for UHC.
  • Accelerate the implementation of UHC by including NCD prevention and care services.
  • Align development and global health priorities to achieve UHC.
  • Engage with people living with NCDs.

The Global Week for Action on NCDs serves as an urgent call to action for individuals, communities, and governments to tackle this issue head-on.

It is more than just a series of events and awareness campaigns; it os a rallying cry for change. It is an opportunity for individuals to join with governments, civil society, and healthcare organisations to demand a healthier, more equitable world.

By participating in this week, we are sending a clear message: NCDs are not an inevitability, but a challenge that we can overcome through collective effort and commitment.

As individuals, we can adopt healthier lifestyles, as communities, we can support one another in making these changes, and as societies, we can demand policy reforms that prioritise health and wellbeing.

During the Global Week for Action on NCDs, let’s be the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s take a stand against these preventable diseases and work together to build a healthier, more vibrant future for all.

It’s time to ensure that NCDs are no longer overshadowed but take centre stage in our global health agenda. The time for action is now, and together, we can make a lasting impact in the fight against NCDs.

This article was written by Mohamad Ishak Ahmad Abir, Thaarenee Wiswannadanm, Nariza Alysa Azryn, Dr Jessica Anne Canute, Dr Janice Hew Pei Fang, Mahirah Ma’som, Chan Wan Thung, Dr Murallitharan Munisamy, and Dr Saunthari Somasundaram from NCD Malaysia.

NCD Malaysia is the Malaysian chapter of the Global NCD Alliance, comprising 16 organisations that advocate for people living with non-communicable diseases. For further information about NCD Malaysia, please visit the NCD Malaysia Facebook and Instagram pages.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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