The Humanitarian Centre's Summit Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health in Developing Countries took place in Cambridge on January 20th.
This was a follow up to the UN General Assembly summit that was held in New York on 21 September 2011. The conference was chaired by Dr Richard Smith CBE, who led a lively debate covering such questions as: should the NCD campaign cover a broad or narrow focus of disease; what was the best point at which to intervene to reduce the burden of NCDs; and was the food industry a part of the problem or a part of the solution in tackling obesity and diabetes?
The opening session acknowledged the significance of the UN Summit in recognising the social determinants of NCDs and the importance of a whole government response with fiscal, regulatory and legislative measures. However, it questioned whether the political declaration that came out of the UN summit was sufficiently powered to drive a solution.
As well as laying out the magnitude of the problem of NCDs, the conference debated measurements and targets and the role of key stakeholders, including an evaluation of partnership as an approach to dealing with NCDs. The Young Health Programme partnership was profiled as an example of intervention and partnership.
Maya Morris presented the Young Health Programme, laying out the structure of the programme, it’s aims, the partners involved in the programme and how they worked together to drive synergies. The presentation included a call to focus on adolescent health as an effective area of focus when choosing where best to intervene to reduce the global burden of NCDs.
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