NCD Alliance

New podcast just dropped! Leadership starts with people living with NCDs

28th May 2024

We should look to two sources specifically for leadership as the NCD community works towards the 2025 UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on NCDs: other social movements and people living with NCDs. That’s the message you can hear now in a new, special episode of Voices of the health revolution, the NCD Alliance (NCDA) podcast.

“I think there is a lot to learn from cross-movement (collaboration),” says Alejandro Daly, who is from Venezuela and Colombia and was born with asthma. For example, “borrowing the momentum from the people who are coming from the climate world to health—we saw that last year with COP 28. But (we should) be more strategic to ensure that the voices of leaders coming from other social movements… join and empower the conversation around NCDs.”

People living with NCDs are uniquely qualified to spearhead progress, adds Lucía Feito Allonca, a global health advocate living with Type 1 diabetes and Advisor for the Global Week for Action on NCDs. “We are not just key stakeholders but we hold a very unique expertise… that no other expert has, because we know what it’s like to live with the condition.”

Lucía notes that the 1st WHO symposium on meaningful engagement of people living with NCDs, mental health and neurological conditions began on 15 May, two days before recording the podcast episode. “It fills me with hope… Traditionally there have been resource constraints on capacity-building and empowerment of people because we’ve had a passive role as patients. The paradigm has changed. We are active players now, changing reality.”

The new episode is the first of a series in which NCDA is handing over the podcast microphone to various communities within the NCD movement to discuss leadership, the theme for NCDA’s campaign until the UNHLM. Alejandro urges listeners to broaden their sense of belonging, from movements for specific diseases to the broader NCDs umbrella. “If you like to be part of something that is developing, creating momentum, I think (NCDs) is the place to be.”

This episode features host Ogweno Stephen, who lives with childhood obesity and sits on the Advisory Board of NCDA’s initiative Our Views, Our Voices. “As a leader I need to ensure that as many people as possible are represented (at the UNHLM) but also that their voices are coming through various channels—by inviting people to join the movement, by using social media, including podcasts like this one and online platforms.”