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Newsletter // August 12, 2014
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YP-CDN's Forum for Action on NCDs: Mobilizing a Movement for Solidarity on Trade


On July 9, two days in advance of the UN High-Level Review on NCDs, YP-CDN held the Forum for Action on NCDs, which brought together individuals who are working tirelessly to mitigate the negative impacts of trade and investment agreements on health.  

At the forum we put forth a declaration for action on this issue (stay tuned!), and heard ffrom emerging leaders from YP-CDN and established experts in the areas of health, law and economics.  Testiying to the damaging influence that vested corporate interests can have on health, these authorities from organizations such as Public Citizen, ACS Cancer Action Network, Knowledge Ecology International, and the O'Neill Institute cited specific examples of big business efforts to hinder government regulatory action in some countries, such as attempts by pharmaceutical lobbies to block patent reform in South Africa that would allow for greater access to affordable treatments. 

The forum gave an overview on how the international trade and investment system works, highlighting both positive and negative outcomes that result from free traade agreements, but focused mainly on two major health concerns related to trade: access to medicines, and regulation of harmful risk factors like nhealthy food, tobacco, and alcohol. 

You can read more about the forum and our involvement at the UN NCD Review here.  To learn more about the UN NCD Review, please see the UN's press coverage.



AIDS & NCDs: Thoughts from AIDS 2014 on a Health Systems Approach

 
At the 20th International AIDS Conference, researchers, advocates, politicians and people living with and/or affected by HIV and AIDS came together to share progress and challenges in the battle for the "end of AIDS by 2030". The conference brought a renewed reminder that the NCD community can learn a great deal from the past successes of the HIV/AIDS movement: we need a greater prominence of patient voices, a lot more activism, enhanced political support, more evidence to bring to policymakers, and, of course, money to make it happen. 
 
With increasing data that HIV-positive individuals are living longer and developing chronic conditions,  it is more important than ever that the NCD and AIDS movements join together. Together we must demand a greater investment in health, continued activism, and sustained awareness and education on matters of social injustice that can be halted. Now.  Despite the incredible progress made for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, we are still seeing new infections, lack of access to newer medication and palliative care in developing countries, and the need for more resources and training to sustain a strong health workforce.  Those with NCDs and those at risk of NCDs face a similar and very real struggle.
 
We need to be unafraid to petition for resources at all levels, to support people living with and at risk for NCDs.  We can work toward an integrated health system in which research, treatment, and policy changes are supported for both AIDS and NCDs, conditions that have become intrinsically linked in the 21st century.  Our executive director, Jordan Jarvis, highlighted this precise point during the AIDS 2014 satellite session on women, HIV & AIDS, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), hosted by Management Sciences for Health, and the Task Force on Non-communicable Diseases and Women’s Health, among others. She spotlighted YP-CDN's petitions to the World Health Organization to add two cancer medications as WHO essential medicines, in efforts to increase global access. 
 
See more talks from AIDS 2014 on NCDs and HIV here

Together, as activists and advocates, we can move toward not only a more efficient health care system, but also a healthier global community.

How do you think the HIV/AIDS and NCD communities can work more closely together? Join the discussion!

Four Questions with Joseph Nderitu:
YPer of the Month!


1. How did you first become interested in working with NCDs?
I had been invited to participate in a large screening exercise for diabetes in 2011 when I was a second year medical student. It became a very good chance to pass my knowledge to people who needed it in the community to prevent or properly manage diabetes and associated comorbidities. That year YPCDN was launched in Nairobi and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

2. Have you read any good books lately?
Yes. I read many books. A recent book that I consider a life-changer is Conscience and Freedom by Cormac Burke. It challenges us to form a conscience that guides us to do what is right rather than what is convenient. This is very crucial especially at a time when ethical conduct by professionals is seen like a factor outside of oneself, to be enforced by regulatory bodies rather than emanating from within us.

3. Who is your role model and why?
Johns Hopkins. His philanthropic streak was admirable. His bequests enabled the founding of some of the greatest institutions which have changed the lives of so many people for many generations and continues to do so. His is a perfect example of a life lived for a cause far greater than oneself.

4. What is one thing you hope that your NCD advocacy accomplishes?
Enlighten people in the communities. When more and more people are aware of the risk factors for chronic disease and the appropriate measures to reduce their lifetime risk, we will be able to fight NCDs at the primary level (prevention). This will greatly reduce the burden on health systems especially in the developing countries. 

Join us at the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference!  


During the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference (27-29 August 2014) on the role of civil society in the post-2015 development agenda, YP-CDN- along with NCD Child, Caring & Living As Neighbors (CLAN), American Cancer Society (ACS), and UNICEF- plans to have a strong presence of young NCD advocates, survivors, activists, and supporters at various events representing the new face of the NCD movement. 
 
The conference panel, ‘Empowering Young People to Enjoy Healthy Lives – A Focus on NCDs and Collaborative Action by Civil Society in the Post-2015 Agenda’ and a side event co-hosted by UNICEF & NCD Child ‘Interactive Discussion: Healthy Living and the Prevention, Control and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases in Children and Adolescents’  on Thursday, August 28 will be important  opportunities for youth and civil society organizations to speak up and be heard! To register and for more information, please see details here.

 

Our Executive Team is recruiting! 


We're looking for 2 dedicated NCD advocates to join our team as project coordinators for our work on (1) NCDs and trade, and (2) access to medicines.  Please note these are unpaid volunteer positions. Please contact Jordan Jarvis for more information. 
 

We Are #NCD+! Are You?


Nearly all of us are closely affected by non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and lung diseases in some way. Whether you have lost someone to cancer, are an obesity researcher, or worry about the effect that environmental pollutants will have on your future children’s health, if these issues are important to you, you are an NCD advocate.  You are NCD positive.

In collaboration with ACS, Sage Innovation, NCD Child, and CLAN, we are launching #NCD+, a global effort to show the world the real face of NCDs, one of courageous patients, their support networks, and tireless advocates across the globe who are fighting the greatest social justice issue of our generation. We all have a reason to be #NCD+. What is yours?

We want to hear your voice through an original 6-second Vine video that tells us why you are passionate about NCDs.  Make sure that your video tells your name and why you are NCD positive.  When you post the video on Vine, Twitter, and Facebook, please make sure that you hashtag #NCD+ and tag the handle @ncdaction in your post.  For an example, please see the following Vine: https://vine.co/v/M9QM7OqjHlD. More information and instructions can be found here.

Please post your Vine and tag @ncdaction and #NCD+ by August 25, 2014. 
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