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Sultan inaugurates 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum 2017
BY A STAFF REPORTER December 10, 2017
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SHARJAH:The “Second Global NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) Alliance Forum 2017” was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah on Saturday afternoon at the Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre.

The international summit with 350 delegates, mostly civil society members and from the non-government organisations in 68 countries, is under the directives and patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Morhammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, founder and royal patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients, International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and patron of Global NCD Alliance Forum.

The theme is “Stepping Up the Pace on NCDs: Making 2018 Count.”

In his inaugural speech, Sheikh Sultan repeatedly acknowledged the big help of the civil society in letting governments of their respective countries be more conscious and more active in prioritising the promotion of health and the protection of every human being against NCDs.

“We will be implementing your recommendations. We will support you,” he said.

He also said: “We are learning from you. We are utilising your ideas. We are here to support you. We will fulfill our promise.”

Sheikh Sultan highlighted the extreme need to hold an international gathering of like-minded individuals from across the globe, saying that NCDs have become a burden to each and every country, adding that current records have shown that globally, topping the list is cancer with 100 million people affected with 15 million deaths per year.

He acknowledged the tireless initiatives and works of Sheikha Jawaher towards the prevention of cancer including the assistance extended to patients and their families.

Relating cancer to excessive tobacco use, Sheikh Sultan said it was two years back that Sharjah led in the prohibition of smoking in public places such as workplaces and cafes.

Following cancer is obesity and for this, the Ruler of Sharjah mentioned that soon, the emirate will be rolling out airconditioned walkways so that even in the hottest five months of the year, residents and visitors would be able to jog or walk around the city for health as rubber-paved pathways have been provided for already.

It was 32 years ago when Sharjah banned alcohol, the third leading cause of NCDs.

Sheikh Sultan said all the achievements could not have been accomplished without the help of the civil society.

NCD Alliance president Jose Luis Castro said the constant ballooning of the NCDs on the global scale is a “global tsunami” sparing no country nor government, adding that its socio-economic cost hit $7trillion, equivalent to the combined gross domestic product of France, India and Brazil in 2016.

World Health Organisation-High Level Commission co-chairman and former Pakistan health minister Dr Sania Nishtar said the sordid plight of the poor, the sick and the hungry across the globe could only be mitigated through a leadership committed to erase these conditions.

She said the Sharjah leadership is an exemplary example of that leadership.

The summit is in preparation to the Sept. 2018 high level meeting at the United Nations wherein all countries and governments will be requested to report on how they have tackled NCDs in relation to the sustainable goals of the international body.

The delegates in the next two days will be discussing and deliberating how they are going to convince and push their respective leaders to prioritise and put forward policies and strategies against NCDs more decisively.

Sharjah hosted the first edition of the international gathering in 2015 from which recommendations from the delegates was later known as the Sharjah Declaration.

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