©️ NCDAF 2017, Gilberto Lontro

Amplifying voices and perspectives of people living with NCDs in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

29th June 2020

Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance (EM-NCDA) hosted a series of webinars to promote a people-centred NCD response in the region and to share stories from people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) during COVID-19.

The first webinar held on Sunday 14 June focused on 'People-centred NCD Response in the Eastern Mediterranean Region' included civil society speakers from Jordan, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt. The aim of the webinar was to highlight the challenges and needs of people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) in the Eastern Mediterranean region and amplify their voices and views during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar was attended by 85 participants from several countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Omar Abureesh, a medical student who reflected on his personal lived experience with cancer in 2017, highlighted the role of civil society in supporting and amplifying the voices of PLWNCDs in the region and tackling stigma and discrimination.

The second webinar held on Monday 22 June, followed on the heels of World Refugee Day (Saturday 20 June) and focused on 'The Voices of People Living with NCDs in Humanitarian Crises'. Recognising the triple burden of PLWNCDs in humanitarian settings during the COVID–19 pandemic, EM-NCDA convened the webinar involving speakers from WHO-EMRO, WHO Jordan, UNHCR Jordan (humanitarian health lead), Royal Health Awareness Society Jordan and the University of Oxford. The webinar was attended by nearly 40 participants around the region.

Heba Shaban from Syria living with diabetes and hypertension at a refugee camp in Jordan shared her personal experience of managing NCDs and additional challenges of disrupted treatment and care during the pandemic

Omar Abureesh and Heba Shaban were involved as participants in an Our Views, Our Voices training organised by EM-NCDA in Jordan in December 2019. 

WHO EMRO's rapid assessment of service delivery for NCDs during COVID-19 can be found here.