US Govt at Moscow NCD Meeting to Stress Coordination, Prevention, Social Determinants, Integration

At a meeting on April 20, 2011 of the Global Health Council Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Roundtable, US Government representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) listed four priority areas that the delegation intended to focus on at the upcoming first global ministerial meeting on healthy lifestyles and non comm.... Holly J. Wong, Associate Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs, Policy & Program Coordination Division at HHS, said that the delegation, led by Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, and representatives from the State Department, USAID, CDC and NIH, would among other things emphasize at the meeting April 28-29:

1.  Health's connection to other sectors.  The U.S. Government recognizes that in order for interventions to be successful in the area of non communicable disease, relevant expertise and resources need to be drawn from transport, agriculture, education and other Departments.

2.  Prevention as part of a comprehensive response.  The U.S. Government will stress that prevention is the only way to ensure cost-effective roll-out of strategies for effective treatment, care and management.

3.  Social Determinants of health. Because of the inter-related nature of poverty and NCDs, the U.S. Government will press for recognition that economic and social conditions drive at least some of the NCD burden.

4. Integration with other global health programs. The U.S. Government delegation will take note of the linkages between NCDs and infectious diseases to demonstrate that governments and donors need to move away from vertical disease management.

According to Ms. Wong, Secretary Sibelius will also take advantage of her presence in Moscow to have a number of bilateral meetings with Russian counterparts. The purpose of these meetings, she said, would be to take stock of where the research agenda on NCDs has been and to build further collaboration on healthy lifestyles research, including potentially on surveillance of obesity, and tobacco control.

Also present at the GHC NCD Roundtable was a member of the U.S. delegation to Moscow: Ms. Rosie Henson, senior policy advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS.  Ms. Henson noted that she has been a member of the drafting group for the Moscow Declaration to be considered for approval at the Ministerial.  She said that World Health Organization staff were presently sifting through comments received to date on the "zero draft" version, and would probably issue another draft later this week. 

Ms. Henson said she planned to be present at the Global Forum on NCDs that will engage 150 members of civil society and precede the Ministerial on April 27. She would also be responsible, in part, for reporting the proceedings of the Global Forum to the Ministerial.


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