NCD Alliance March Newsletter

Dear members of the NCD Alliance network,

The newsletter provides:

1)  Update on the independent review of the NCD Alliance
2)  Overview of the two campaign priorities for 2012
3)  Immediate call to action on the NCD target-setting consultation
4)  Details of a joint WHO/UNDP initiative on NCDs breaking news!
5)  Details of the next webinar on Tuesday 17 April

1)  The review of the NCD Alliance
The independent review of the Alliance is nearing completion and we will be publishing the findings and the future strategy in the next month. The first part of the review was an electronic survey of the Common Interest Group. A summary report can be downloaded here and the full results can be downloaded here.

2)  The campaign priorities for 2012
The review has guided the development of a strategic framework for future campaigns which will be presented through webinars (see below for details). We are campaigning on two fronts this year. Both processes will shape how NCDs are addressed at the national, regional, and global levels for years to come:

GLOBAL NCD FRAMEWORK: Delivering the outcomes from the UN Summit
The commitments made by Member States should be seen as a comprehensive package not as piecemeal projects. We are calling for a global NCD framework spearheaded by a multisectoral global partnership with the mandate to fully develop a global plan, which includes a global monitoring framework with global targets and indicators, and which catalyses effective financing mechanisms. For a campaign overview, click here.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK: NCDs are a post-2015 priority
UN Member States have recognized NCDs as one of the major challenges for development in the 21st Century. As the world begins to review the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and plan for the new framework after their expiry in 2015, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that tackling NCDs is central to future health and development planning. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20) in June is a key opportunity to ensure NCDs are in the mainstream of this process. For a campaign overview, click here.

Both campaigns need your support. Effective lobbying of governments in their capitals will be critical – and so engagement across the whole NCD network is needed to make a difference. The NCD Alliance will keep you informed on these global health processes and our activities in Geneva and New York. We are producing briefing papers, and other support materials and will make these available to you as they are completed.We look forward to maintaining the flow of information and hearing from you on the ways in which you and your organizations are planning to engage in these processes and how we can support your advocacy.

3) Immediate Call to Action on NCD target-setting consultation
Last week, WHO launched its second consultation on global targets and indicators for NCDs by releasing an updated discussion paper (here).  Today, the NCD Alliance is publishing its summary position which can be downloaded here and is also set out at the end of this newsletter. 

Please help by communicating this to national governments next week.
Please express your support for these key demands and urge your government to include them in their submission by 19 April.  A template letter for you to amend and send will be sent out early next week.  Please share news of your contact with your government and let us know their views.

4)  New UNDP/WHO initiative on NCDs - breaking news!
Following NCD Alliance advocacy on the issue since November, Helen Clark and Dr Margaret Chan, respectively heads of the UN Development Programme and WHO, have just sent a joint letter to all UN Country Teams instructing them to fully integrate NCDs into their plans and programs.  This is a major step forward and both Dr Chan and Ms Clark are to be congratulated on their leadership.  The letter can be downloaded here.

5)  Next webinars for the NCD Alliance network
In order to accommodate partners around the world, we are proposing to run two webinars on Tuesday 17 April at 10am and again at 5pm Central European Time.  We will issue an agenda nearer the time but essentially we will be using the webinars to give updates on the two major campaigns and to hear from you.  If you are already a member of the Common Interest Group, you will automatically receive an invitation. If not, membership is open to NGOs and can be joined here.

With best wishes,

The NCD Alliance Team



Six months ago, all 193 Member States made important commitments at September’s High-Level Meeting on NCDs.  Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched its second consultation on global targets and indicators for NCDs by releasing an updated discussion paper (here). 

The paper sets out in much greater detail how the monitoring framework will work. The NCD Alliance welcomes this clarification, the focus on the social determinants of health and the broader range of indicators for NCD surveillance. However, we believe the dramatically reduced set of proposed targets fails to match the ambitions and the scope of the Political Declaration; and reporting every five years is simply not frequent enough to keep attention adequately focused on NCDs.

To date, only 21 Member States have provided feedback on this WHO process, and their positions have formed the basis for the reduced set of targets.  The views of such a small number of Member States should not determine the future of the global response to NCDs.  

We strongly urge Member States to adopt targets that will drive progress in the prevention and control of NCDs for the next 15 years. As Dr Chan has said: “what gets measured, gets done”.

Time and momentum are slipping. Member States and NGOs are urged to engage fully with this consultation and submit their views by 19 April.

The NCD Alliance position is summarised below.  A detailed submission will be published no later than 13 April.

NCD Alliance – key demands:

1) Stand up for the rights of people living now with NCDs by adopting targets on treatment

- Include a target to achieve a minimum of 80% availability of affordable, quality-assured essential NCD medicines and technologies in public and private sectors.

- Reinstate a target for 80% coverage of multidrug therapy for people with a risk of heart attack or stroke, including people with diabetes.

2) Put public health first and adopt targets on all major risk factors

- Including a new target on physical inactivity is a major step forward. Targets to reduce tobacco use, salt intake and blood pressure are equally important.  More governments need to support these critical targets to ensure they are retained.

- Reinstate a target to reduce alcohol consumption.  Amid reports of intense lobbying by the alcohol industry to pressure Member States, it is alarming to see this important target has been dropped.

- Reinstate targets on industrially-produced trans-fats in food and on obesity; and aim to develop a broader range of indicators to monitor the affordability and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables and the ability of the agriculture and food sector to provide dietary diversity

3) Demonstrate leadership at the World Health Assembly in May

- Resolve to adopt the target to reduce preventable deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 in May as the central goal of the next global plan on NCDs.

- Stand firm against any pressure to make do with a handful of targets on what is possibly the most complex public health issue the world has ever had to deal with. 
Ten is not too many targets.

- Recapture the passion demonstrated at the High-Level Meeting and commit to realising in full the ambitions articulated in the Political Declaration; recognizing the need for life-cycle approach and for the monitoring framework to track other NCDs including mental and neurological disorders, renal, oral and eye diseases.

- Agree to reporting progress every two years.  This can be done and will elevate NCDs to the appropriate level of priority on national and global agendas.

-  Ensure that the global monitoring framework and targets are designed to be at the heart of the next global NCD plan.  The timeline set for WHO by the Executive Board resolution (EB130.R7) barely allows for development of a truly multisectoral and fully costed global NCD plan. This must be addressed.