Summaries from the side events of the un hlm on ncds September 23, 2011



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SUMMARIES FROM THE SIDE EVENTS OF THE UN HLM on NCDs

September 23, 2011

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Launch of New York City Wellness Week

Date: Friday, 16 September, 2011

Venue: Harlem State Office Building Plaza
Organizers: PAHO, WEF, NYAM, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Emblem Health, City College of New York, Harlem Hospital
Key issues: a public event to celebrate the beginning of Wellness Week in the Americas, with a focus on Wellness Week in New York City coinciding with the UN high level meeting on NCDs. Dr. Mirta Roses officially announced Wellness Week, together with Mrs.Sarita Nayyar of the World Economic Forum. The program also included speeches by several local elected officials, representatives from co-sponsor organizations, along with a presentation of a proclamation from the Mayor of New York City declaring September 16-21 as Wellness Week. A video featured messages from Mayors about Wellness Week activities taking place in 23 cities across the Americas. Physical activity demonstrations and health fair type activities were held around the plaza to engage the community in health and wellbeing. Messages were also promoted about the importance of creating healthy environments and healthy public policies that support healthy choices.
Controversies: None. But, as the first year for Wellness Week there were several challenges in seeking partners and raising sufficient funds to execute all the planned activities for the Week. There were also lengthy negotiations with the partners on the guidelines for participating organizations. These were all, however, developmental learning which will only improve planning for Wellness Week 2012.
Consensus: tremendous interest from public and private sector organizations to get involved and organize activities to promote health and wellbeing in a coordinated manner during a specially designated Wellness Week.
Implications for PAHO/WHO: this is the beginning of the social movement needed to build more public awareness and support for healthy settings and healthy living throughout the Region. PAHO will continue to collaborate with partners to implement Wellness Week on an annual basis.
Prepared by Silvana Luciani

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Mobile phones and social media in the response to NCDs

Date: Friday, 16 September, 2011

Venue: Weill Cornell Medical College
Organizers: Healthy Caribbean Coalition, PAHO/WHO, Global Health Council, Young professionals NCD network
Key issues: NCDs as a social justice issue; cellphones for advocacy*, health education, and preventive care; public private partnership; integration of traditional and new social media.

Controversies: privacy and security of data; cross border policies (for international campaigns).
Consensus: Cellphones and new social media have a critical role to play in NCD prevention and control; can reach disadvantaged populations and youth very well. Public private partnership important.
Implications for PAHO/WHO: the initiative of GTM and use of social media very supportive of NCD prevention and control. Reaches youth and poor populations well. Continue to support GTM; evaluate and disseminate findings; plan/support scale-up to whole region and world.
* 465,000 text signatures of support from 17 islands from the GetTheMessage campaign received. The two major mobile phone providers cooperated and allowed free texting and health education messages.
Prepared by Dr. James Hospedales

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From Advocacy to Action NCD Alliance NGO Briefing for the UN HLM on NCDs


Date: Saturday, 17 September 2011
Venue: New York Academy of Medicine, New York

Organizers: NCD Alliance, IDF, UICC, Wellness Week, and New York Academy of Medicine

Key issues: Capacity of NGOs to influence the process; support by PAHO/WHO of the participation of NGOs and socialization of the process; generation of reports by NCD-A groups integrating the perspectives by different disease groups; Working groups on women, human rights. Presentation of the urban health PAHO approach and the NYC experience on urban policies. Positioning of the NCD-A towards the future. Motivational closing speach by Sir George Aleyne

Controversies: capacity to influence the processes; scope of participation; definition of NGOs; partnership with industry, a diificult word and should be seen carefuly in its interaction with UN, WHO, NCD-A and countries' government; working with different sectors;  future agenda

Consensus: Learning from prevous experiences of other NGOs (HIV). Political will is required. NCD-A well positioned to diseminate the message; NGOs capacble of integrating knowledge in an independent manner

Implications for PAHO/WHO: NGOs seek to have input into setting the targets, and the future actions for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Every country should have a NCD-Alliance. They consider the role of WHO should be of providing international practice guidelines. Need to bring together ethical guidelines for relation with industry
Prepared by Dr. James Hospedales
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NCDs in Urban Settings: A call to action in lower and middle income countries
Date: Sunday September 18th 2011
Venue: NYAM

Organizers: NYAM, MSH, Eminence

Key Issues:  Unplanned urbanization is a driver for NCDs, with SDH, Globalization  and Aging. Innovative means of delivery health services are required for urban populations. There is lack of reliable data to monitor and guide policies on urbanization and health. NCDs is not lifestyle, it is the environment: take hidden cities recommendations. Evidence for policy and on policy. Data on BMI and distance to food, urban growth, nutrition, physical activity. Intersectoral work is natural within cities. A problem for the entire planet: developed and developing countries. (The speakers overextended and discussion had to be cut)

Controversies: Who leads the action on urbanization and health, and how can we bring together the actors?  The capacity of health to link with city authorities .

Consensus: Urgent need to address unplanned urban growth: an all encompassing agenda. Need to gather information disaggregated by level of urbanization, in surveillance systems. Adequate health services to the dynamics of urban populations.

Implications for PAHO/WHO: Strengthens our initiatives on urban health.

Prepared by Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa



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Side event on Physical Activity prior to the UN HLM on NCDs

Date: Sunday, 18 September, 2011

Venue: Millenium Hotel

Organizers: Am Coll Sports Med, CDC, PAHO

Very good session with packed house and many enthusiastic partners including Nike. ACSM put a lot of effort and resources.

Four panels:
1. Ministerial dialogue - Peru (Minister), USA (Surgeon General), Brazil (D/NCD program), Colombia (D/NCD) and Aruba (Minister), moderator: J Hospedales

2. Sports and Culture - 4 former Olympians;


3. "Best Buys in PA"; and
4. Opportunities and Barriers

Final session on "Taking action in next 100days", moderator: Carlos Santos-Burgoa. 


Lively and highly participatory. Main focus on promoting physical activity leading eventually to sports. The need to establish Goals and targets, and maintain the impetus. Challenge for leadership, and PAHO accepted to call for a continuation of the meeting.

Key issues: Value of PA as a positive, non-pharmacologic intervention; Many initiatives in region like Ciclovias, RAFA; public policy interventions in NY, Bogota and other cities; creating public demand for space for PA; challenge of inter-sectoral work, e.g., how to get education sector to have PA as compulsory; partnerships with business; value of sports for all; value of former sports personalities and Olympians to promote physical activity.

Controversies: Non-inclusion of PA in the draft global goals and targets.

Consensus: Physical Activity is a key strategy in preventing and managing NCDs and obesity and has many other benefits; environmental, social, economic. Several interventions are cost-effective, ranging from public education/mass comm., through school-based and workplace interventions, to "exercise is medicine" prescriptions, and urban planning and transport policies, Ciclovias (now 97 in 15 couintries) etc. Public policy changes better than individual approaches.

Implications for PAHO/WHO: There are many active partners and interested countries and we should capitalize on this. Include PA targets in the revised regional plan of action, and include PA in the work of the Pan Am Forum for Action on NCDs. ACSM has just signed a MOU with PAHO and is a strong partner.       

Prepared by Dr. James Hospedales and Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa
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Global Diabetes Symposium

Sunday, 18 September, 2011


Organizers: Einstein's Global Health Center and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Presenters include Meredith Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Global Diabetes Initiative at Einstein, and Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, president of IDF


Key Issues: The global situation of the diabetes epidemic was presented from an academic perspective since most presenters came from American universities. There various presentations highlighting the poor situation African people with diabetes are facing. The most impressive presentation was the one by Shadi Chamany, from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that contained a summary of activities aimed to tackle the epidemic of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Controversies: There was no presenter from WHO. Professor Jean Claude Mbanya made a presentation on IDF’s perspective and quoted a patient saying that “he rather had HIV than diabetes”, making reference to the coverage on treatment and economic resources available to HIV patients and the lack of the same for people with diabetes.
Consensus: Diabetes is a global epidemic and there is a lack of awareness which translate in lack of care coverage in many countries.
Implications for PAHO/WHO: Continue increasing capacity for diabetes prevention and control among Member States specially among vulnerable populations.
Prepared by Dr. Alberto Barcelo

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Tackling NCDs: How Can Existing Platforms be Leveraged?



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