World Health Organization Maldives technically supported Health Protection Agency to conduct a Multi-sectoral Advocacy Forum on Non-communicable diseases targeted for partners and stakeholders. The sessions were conducted under the expert technical guidance and moderation of Dr. Cherian Varghese, Coordinator (Noncommunicable Diseases and Determinants-NDD)at the WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office.
Over the course of two days, the forum encompassed a series of engaging activities, including presentations, panel discussions, and interactive sessions, all revolving around the pressing issue of non-communicable diseases in the Maldives. This event offered a distinctive and pivotal opportunity to foster collaborative efforts among stakeholders with the aim of effectively addressing the challenge of NCDs.
Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) impose a substantial health burden in the Maldives, constituting a staggering 80% of all recorded deaths. The Government of the Maldives has undertaken commendable strides in mitigating the NCD burden. One noteworthy initiative is the formulation of the ‘National Multi-sectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in the Maldives (2021-2031)’. Technically supported by WHO, this strategic policy blueprint is designed to comprehensively tackle the prevention, management, and control of NCDs within the country. It underscores the imperative of a multi-sectoral approach, encompassing advocacy endeavors to bolster awareness and foster transformative policy changes.
The NCD Advocacy Forum provided all partners with an opportunity to understand the burden of NCDs while identifying the existing strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. The forum concluded with partners unanimously committing to adopt the multi-sectoral strategy, armed with deeper insights into each stakeholder’s NCD burden reduction initiatives and the potential for cultivating additional partnerships.
As outlined in the National Multi-sectoral plan, engagement of all stakeholders and recognition of all their efforts to control NCDs are important to address its burden. Hence, the initiative to conduct a two-day forum targeting partners and stakeholders by the Government of Maldives was a welcome initiative.”, said Dr Nazneen Anwar, WHO Representative, “Addressing NCDs brings several advantages like lowering healthcare costs, boosting productivity, and fostering socio-economic growth. Therefore, WHO is thrilled to support the endeavor which will contribute to stronger partnerships and improved well-being of individuals and society.”
Committed to reducing the far-reaching repercussions of NCDs on individuals and society, WHO remains steadfast in adopting a holistic approach, fostering collaboration across all sectors to mitigate risks and proactively promote interventions for prevention and control of NCDs.
Source: WHO August 15, 2023