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The 4th Global Week for Action on NCDs came to a close but it's not over! Going forward, every action counts

27th October 2021

From 6 – 12 September 2021, the 4th Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) reached millions of people, thanks to thousands of community voices and civil society organisations including YOU! - engaging in a week-long campaign online and in group-led activities. 

This year, the campaign united under the theme of ‘community engagement' and what a phenomenal response we saw! More than 400 voices of change messages were shared on the campaign website and 59 events were organised including a football match in Cameroon.  

Thank you to everyone who also engaged with the campaign on social media. We saw inspiring posts including pictures of events and videos of activities, as well as testimonies of people living with noncommunicable diseases, and youth organisations who showcased their advocacy efforts calling for health for all.  

Social media was abuzz

The 2021 #ActOnNCDs campaign superseded the momentum of the campaign last year. It reached 16.8 million people on Twitter alone. We also reached wider and more diverse audiences on newer platforms including TikTok and hosted live discussions on Instagram with people living with NCDs in English and Spanish. 

Innovations and new in-roads to bridge the Community Engagement Gap 

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on with different rules setting limits on how people were advocating across the world, the NCD community creatively participated in the Global Week for Action leveraging innovation, technology and new voices to increase participation and demand action. 

Governments and Institutions were not left behind. The Kenyan Ministry of Health, Public Health Scotland and Norway’s Minister of International Development highlighted the need taddress gaps in community engagement with a message to ensure the involvement of all to push for progress on NCDs. We’d also like to extend a big thank you to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, UN Agencies and NCDA Partners and Members who shared their support for the campaign. 

These echoes of vibration in communities were loud and clear – NCDs are the business of everyone everywhere.

We received a record number of visitors to the website!

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Week for Action on NCDs had lots of online activities including webinars and virtual launches. This year, the campaign website was updated and available in three different languages making the campaign resources and webpages available to more people. We’re very excited to share that our website received a record number of visits than any other year!  The NCD community were also actively engaging with news media and conducting discussions related to the launch of the Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs – which we launched that week - with wide readership and visibility in Africa.  

Community engagement … here some highlights 

  • Dr Andrew Fraser, Senior Advisor at Public Health Scotland published a blog calling for bold action and steps to tackle the availability of health-harming products (like alcohol and ultra-processed foods) and social and economic drivers of health such as poverty.  

  • During the week, NCD Alliance published a NEW Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs. The Global Charter aims to have meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs embedded into organisational practices and mobilise all actors such as governments, international partners, private sector and civil society organisations. So far, 47 organisations have endorsed the Global Charter, across 26 countries. Find out how you can endorse the Charter here.

  • We also launched a new campaign video, calling for more action on NCDs. It’s available on our YouTube channel, featuring a series of short videos from team members and NCD champions during the week!  

  • A report published during the week by the NCD Alliance, ‘A global NCD Agenda for Resilience and Recovery from COVID-19', outlines 12 recommendations across 3 pillars to build back better and fairer from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

  • The Health Finance Institute shared their NCD Stories during the campaign.  
    As a person living with an NCD, listen to Debra’s story.  

  • Members of the NCD Community shared their perspective on the 2021 theme and what community engagement means to them as blogs on the campaign website.

Watch this space for the 5th Global Week for Action on NCDs.

The Global Week for Action on NCDs returns next year from 5 - 11 September 2022. We look forward to your participation and the sustained energy to Act on NCDs. 

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who took advantage of the unifying moment that the Global Week for Action provides for our global community to take action and call for action. Every voice counts to mobilise ACTION on noncommunicable diseases and improve lives everywhere.

We’ll be announcing the theme for next year’s campaign very soon so watch this space. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to hear the latest or follow us on social media to hear more.