Globally, the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are increasing, and are now the leading cause of death and disability in all regions. Common risk factors of NCDs (that are preventable and modifiable) include alcohol, tobacco, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
“Around 70 per cent of deaths each year are due to NCDs, so they have a significant burden on the community.”
NCD Alliance’s Lucinda Westerman, says that alcohol, one of the four key risk factors for NCDs, is an important issue that needs to be addressed.
“We realise that of the approximately 3 million deaths by alcohol around the world each year, around half of them are from NCDs.”
While governments have committed to reduce premature deaths from NCDs through the World Health Organization’s ’25×25′ targets and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ms Westerman says that empowering and mobilising civil society advocates across NCD prevention and control communities is necessary to ensure national governments implement interventions in Appendix 3 of the Global Action Plan on NCDs.
“United action by NCD and risk factor networks, coalitions and alliances is increasingly and successfully amplifying and strengthening advocacy and progress on shared goals.”
In this video interview at the Global Alcohol Policy Conference, Ms Westerman reinforces the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration, saying it will increase the likelihood of countries and the world achieving the goals set for 2025 and 2030, and make meaningful progress on reducing the burden of NCDs and improving lives.
“We advocate at both a global multinational level, (UN & WHO), but we realise that it is very important that the operationalising of commitments that countries have made has to be made on the ground. So we’re trying to help countries, by building capacity in-country to do advocacy and for civil society organisations to hold their countries accountable to the commitments they have made.”