WHO Nothing for us, without us report. Image by WHO
©️ World Health Organization (WHO)

Opportunities for meaningful engagement of people living with NCDs

21st April 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) is prioritising the meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs, as countries move towards stronger and more resilient health systems. To this aim, they have released a new report titled 'Nothing for Us, Without Us', based on the findings of a consultative process that has helped to identify work streams, activities, opportunities to ensure engagement of for people living with NCDs in NCD governance and decision making processes.

Nothing for Us, Without Us'

It is important to recognise that without the expertise and experiences of people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), it can be challenging to call for action and design and deliver inclusive people-centred healthcare. People living with NCDs should be at the center of policy, practice and program creation in all aspects of the NCD response. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the NCD epidemic represents a global public health challenge. People living with NCDs face the highest risk of severe COVID-19 complications and death. As COVID-19 continues, the interplay with the NCD epidemic is evident. 

As a result, including people living with pre-existing chronic conditions and NCDs is essential to the COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness and response plans. As governments begin to build back better and fairer, people living with NCDs much be included. They offer invaluable insights into the contextual challenges of both the pandemic and wider NCD response, programmes, policies and services. 

Consultation and next steps

The GCM/NCD Secretariat invited WHO colleagues, representatives of United Nations agencies, members of the WHO Civil Society Working Group and additional civil society actors, including individuals with lived experience were invited to a virtual consultation hosted by the GCM/NCD Secretariat to discuss opportunities and obstacles to the participation of people with NCDs. 
The report presents the findings of this consultation, with the analysis of the data revealing three main themes:
  • Theme 1: Meaningful engagement activates agents of change and builds on what is meant by meaningful engagement of people living with NCDs;
  • Theme 2: From talking the talk to walking the walk shows how the process should be conducted;
  • Theme 3: Actions we want to see indicates the methods the participants consider should be used to support active, participatory engagement of people living with NCDs; 
Most importantly the report presents key action plans and next steps to operationalise the engagement of people with NCDs!