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YP-CDN Monthly Newsletter

 

Newsletter//February 9, 2015

Become a Global Cancer Advocate!


The American Cancer Society’s Global Scholars Program, in collaboration with the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN) and the Harvard Global Equity Initiative (HGEI), is excited host an advocacy training workshop at Harvard University on March 28-29, 2015, alongside the 6th annual conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Apply by February 13!
 
Keep Reading

YP-CDN Delivers Statements at WHO Executive Board

From January 26- February 3, the WHO's Executive Board (EB) convened to discuss the agenda for the World Health Assembly, along with resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly.  On behalf of YP-CDN and Health Action International (HAI), Board member Dr. Kavitha Kolappa delivered a statement on the NCD agenda item before the EB:

"Our research & development system is failing – we have seen this in the context of HIV/AIDS and are now we are seeing it with non-communicable diseases. While older NCD drugs are off-patent and affordable, newer drugs are out of reach of the majority. As one example, a breast cancer medication, Trastuzumab, costs between $23,000-78,000 per patient per year. This is unacceptable."


YP-CDN also worked with the Network of WHO Intern Alumni and HAI to deliver a statement on the need for greater representation of developing country trainees among interns at WHO headquarters.
Read the Statements

WHO Global Status Report on NCDs: Urgent Action Needed


The WHO launched its Global Status Report on NCDs on January 19th, stating that 42% of the world's premature deaths are preventable.  The report urged for swift and immediate action from governments to meet global goals to prevent 16 million premature deaths a year.  WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said, “The global community has the chance to change the course of the NCD epidemic...By investing just US$ 1-3 dollars per person per year, countries can dramatically reduce illness and death from NCDs. In 2015, every country needs to set national targets and implement cost-effective actions. If they do not, millions of lives will continue to be lost too soon.”
Keep Reading

YPer of the Month:  YP-CDN Board Member Badri Narayanan

 
Research Economist at Center for Global Trade Analysis, Purdue University.
YPer for 6 months
1. Tell us a little bit about your work with the WHO on the relationship between tobacco and employment?
Often, it is difficult to convince the policy-makers who are not from public health background, to control the consumption of tobacco products. They are worried about the employment implications of such policies, since reduction of tobacco consumption is going to cut production, trade and employment associated with the sector. One can raise the question as to whether tobacco control policies actually reduce jobs. That is the main objective of this research I'm pursuing in collaboration with colleagues in the WHO, by building a rigorous economic simulation model. Implementation of FCTC and other tobacco control policies usually target reduction of prevalence of tobacco consumption, which is merely the fraction of people who smoke. However, as population and income grows, the aggregate tobacco consumption in the economy might not get reduced as much as the prevalence would. In the case of Kenya, our preliminary findings suggest that the overall consumption as well as the employment will actually increase even without accounting for the possibility that farmers leaving tobacco can shift to other crops. While this could be good enough to convince the non-health policy-makers, isn't it alarming that even huge reduction in prevalence is not sufficient to curtail the menace of tobacco?  

2. How did you become interested in NCDs from economics?
My main interest in research has been industrial, environmental and trade economics, ever since I decided to pursue economics after my undergrad in engineering. Personally, I always had a strong feeling that toxic substances like tobacco should be controlled using sound economic policies. My initial work on trade and environment served as a step towards working on tobacco control, as the concepts are quite similar. On my interactions with colleagues and friends working in this area, including those in the WHO and YP, I began to feel that sound economic policies are required to control tobacco and other causes of NCDs. More importantly, the mainstream trade and economic policies should be calibrated with a view to control NCDs. On the other hand, this issue was not of interest to my colleagues in the fields of trade, industrial and agricultural economics - indicative of what happens in the policy arena as well - where non-health economic policy stake-holders are seldom interested in NCDs. I would like to bridge this gap in policy research,design and implementation.       

3. How do you use your economic background to take action against NCDs?
As mentioned before, it is essential for policy-oriented economists, working on core trade and economic issues, to come in the open against NCDs. Health economists in general play the role of quantifying the economic impact of NCDs and policies directly targeted to control them, while general economic policies also have a lot of implications for NCDs. I work a lot on quantifying economic impact of various policies and in this regard, I have begun to increasingly focus on their implications for NCDs. I would like to draw the attention of economic policy-makers to NCDs in this way, by working with YPers who specialize in public health and epidemiology.  

4.  How do you hope your work will impact the future of public health?
The main objective of my recent and future work is to show how the economic policies calibrated to counter NCDs can lead to win-win situation even in economic terms, not just public health terms. I shall extend my work on tobacco to other aspects of NCDs such as unhealthy food, sugar, etc. I would also like to explore the economic policy implications of the nexus between trade, access to medicines and intellectual property rights to come up with win-win policies that are favorable to all stakeholders.

Upcoming Events


Call for abstracts
April 17 Deadline: World Diabetes Congress

Conferences
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (February 25-28), Philadelphia

16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (March 17-21), Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mobilizing Reseach for Global Health (March 26-28) Boston, MA

2015 Obesity Summit (April 14-16), London, UK)

Days of Note

February 15: International Childhood Cancer Day

March 8: International Women's Day

March 13: World Kidney Day

April 7: World Health Day



Coursera Courses on NCDs and Related Topics
Climate Change Policy and Public Health

Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Opportunities

An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health

The Challenges of Global Health


 

Upcoming YP Speaks Session: 

How to accelerate progress on reducing obesity and NCDs globally
 
February 11, 12-12:30 p.m. EST: Stefanie Vandevijvere, Research fellow in Global Health, Food Policy, Obesity and NCD prevention; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Auckland
 

Past Sessions
Tobacco Control and NCDs by Gen Bois, YP-CDN Community Director, Spokesperson for Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control


NCD Action in Kenya by Mellany Murgor, Kenyan Representative of YP-CDN, Research Assistant, Happy Kidneys Foundation

 

Recent Blogs from our Members


My Two Olympic Dreams, by Seun Adebiyi

Rising Wealth Inequality and NCDs, by Maja Pleic

"Glocalizing" Solutions for the Rising Chronic Disease Epidemic, by Justin List; featured by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Put Patients Over Profits: An Open Letter to the Council on Foreign Relations, by Jordan Jarvis; Featured in the Huffington Post

The Surprising Role That Social Media Can Play in Health Care, by Benn Grover and Abby Capobianco; Featured in the Huffington Post

Have something to say? Submit a blog and be heard!

 
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