The NCD Café at the ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology (31 August – 4 September) provided an opportunity for cardiologists and health experts to discuss current challenges affecting health systems, in light of the imminent UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on 23 September.
The NCD Café sessions covered a wide range of topics that are key for UHC design and implementation, from the importance of having people-centred approaches to NCD prevention and care and an integrated health workforce, for instance, to meet the needs of people with obesity; to the need of raising the profile of rheumatic heart disease, a long-time neglected disease, and the growing burden of air pollution as a main NCD risk factor.
“Professional societies are recognising the social determinants of health, and to be successful in hitting the problem we need to address all SDGs,” said Dr John G. Harold, Past President of the American College of Cardiology.
During the first day, a new report gathering NCDA’s key achievements and lessons learnt from a 5-year programme (2013-2017) called Expanding Access to Care, Supporting Global, Regional and Country level NCD Action: Programme Achievements and Lessons Learnt was presented. The programme aimed at strengthening NCD civil society capacity in the Caribbean, Brazil, South Africa and India, and was key in the development of the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs.
“The views and perspectives of civil society, caregivers and people living with NCDs are essential to inform laws, policies, healthcare services and other systemic decisions for NCD prevention and control,” said Jimena Marquez Donaher, Director of Communications at NCDA.
The NCD Café was organised by the NCD Alliance’s Supporters Group with special support from the World Heart Federation. The full programme is available here.