NCDs are only recently beginning to be recognized as conditions of social injustice and deprivation. For years, and even still, diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers such as that of the lung and the cervix, have been commonly and mistakenly brushed off as “lifestyle” diseases rather than the results of social determinants of health.
To reduce the growing burden of NCDs and achieve the global goal of a 25% reduction in these diseases by the year 2025, it is important for society as a whole to understand the complexities of NCDs and that there is no one distinguishable face of these diseases. Rather, the face of NCDs is a global one. Our partners at NCDFREE seek to show the world that the narrative of NCDs touches all people. Continuing their efforts in doing so, in early October, they launched #theface, a campaign which sought to put a face to NCDs. In painting the face of NCDs as a diverse one, #theface illustrated that NCDs affect us all, and sent a message that everyone is needed to reverse this worsening global public health crisis.
NCDFREE sent out a call, and you responded, sharing your photos and personal stories, painting a face of NCDs that is global, inclusive, and diverse. Patients, caretakers, researchers, and advocates reached out to add their tale to the tapestry of faces and narratives. You can find the full campaign here, and see if you can spot the YPers!
Four Questions with Jo Jewell: YPer of the Month!
Name: Jo Jewell Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Profession/Research Area: Food Policy for Prevention of Obesity and Diet-Related NCDs YP Member Since: 2010
How did you first become interested in NCDs? Working in Brussels for the European Public Health Alliance, which is the most influential NGO working on health at the EU level, I became interested in the potential for policy action by governments to have a positive influence on people’s risk of developing NCDs - principally through influencing the wider environments in which we live our day-to-day lives. I originally worked on nutrition, alcohol and tobacco policy which all share common elements and are essential to tackle the overwhelming burden of NCDs in Europe. In particular I worked on food labelling policy, which was going through the European Union institutions at the time. It became very clear that it was very tough to get the public health evidence accepted and built into the policy, but this only made me more committed! Six years later I am still interested and motivated.
You recently gave a YP Speaks talk on Global Food Policy. What do you think is the biggest challenge in this area? We need a critical momentum of countries worldwide implementing effective policies to tackle obesity and unhealthy diets. The next couple of years will be very important. We now have much better evidence of the likely effectiveness of policies, which should empower some countries to take action. Once we have “leading pack” hopefully others will follow. Many countries have done very well in some areas, but there is a need for a more comprehensive approach which will allow the policies to work synergistically. I also think getting to grips with obesity and unhealthy diets in low- and middle-income countries will require some particularly smart thinking on policy.
Who are your heroes? I am lucky to work in a field where there are some fantastic thinkers doing great work to push this agenda forward. My heroes are actually quite geeky, being people writing on food policy. For anybody interested in this area I can highly recommend reading work published by Corinna Hawkes, Tim Lobstein, Boyd Swinburn, Mike Rayner and Anne-Marie Thow to name a few – I could continue. You always come away having learned something useful and highly relevant to policy. Of course, I should also mention the countless heroes working on the ground in countries to try and develop policies, despite the numerous challenges. There are some real stars out there!
If your work could accomplish one thing, what would it be? I would like to be a constructive and strategic thinker to help countries respond to the challenge of unhealthy diets, obesity and NCDs, whether through academic writing or advice on policy development. But I have a long way to go in my own professional development to reach this goal!
Jo gave our last YP Speaks session on the topic of Global Health Policy. Check it out!
Announcing our Board of Directors & Advisory Council!
Meet Our Board We are thrilled to announce our talented Board of Directors, who will steward YP-CDN through growth, strategic planning and development of the young organization to stand up against the social injustice driven by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide.
YP-CDN is seeking to fill the following Board of Directors positions:
Vice President of Finance & Fundraising
Vice President of Human Capital & Resources
We are seeking a 2-year voluntary position, with a 6-8 hour monthly workload for each position, with at least 1 annual meeting in New York or Boston. YP-CDN is a registered legal incorporated entity in the United States. More information is available upon request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Introducing our Advisory Council
We are incredibly fortunate to have an enormously talented and diverse Advisory Council, with the leading global voices on health, to guide and support YP-CDN and it's members for the coming year. Our advisors' expertise on technical matters related to NCDs, health, and health equity, as well as management and hands-on support, will help guide our policy and advocacy efforts, strategic planning and community growth. Learn more about our Advisory Council.
We know you're already a star. Now we want to tell the world!
YP-CDN is producing a short movie and we want you to participate. The video will be distributed over social media and will show how our strength of network elevates the work of our members. All you need is a smart phone with video capabilities. We are looking to highlight our diversity and want as many people as possible! Please email us with your name and where you are in the world to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
53rd PAHO Meeting: Focus on childhood obesity, mental health,
& universal health coverage
The 53rd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) met in Early October in Washington D.C., with Ministers of Health and other high-level delegates from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean. Discussions centered on the reduction of childhood obesity, improved blood safety, disabilities and rehabilitation, expansion of mental health, prevention of blindness and visual impairment, health-related law, coordination of humanitarian assistance, and universal access and universal health coverage.
PAHO’s plan of action for obesity seeks to help countries in the Americas reduce rates of child and adolescent obesity through measures including promotion of breastfeeding, preventing access to unhealthy foods and increasing physical activity in schools, raising taxes on junk food and sweetened beverages, promoting recreational spaces, and creating incentives for small and medium-size agricultural producers to make fresh foods more accessible.
All documents from the meeting can be accessed here
"Access to health is a decisive aspect of social inclusion. The big issue of social inclusion has become the centre of the hemispheric agenda in recent years, as our nations have come to recognise that full democratic development of our continent is not possible if we maintain the levels of inequality, discrimination and exclusion that continue to affect numerous groups of citizens in our region."- Jose Miguel Insulza
November YP Speaks Sessions
November 5, 12:00 p.m., EST: Ashley Schram, MSc., PhD, "Health: What's trade got to do with it? The role of trade and investment liberalisation in non-communicable disease."
November 19, 12:00 p.m., EST: Molly Lepeska, M.S., "Diabetes and Access to Insulin"