SHARJAH, 9th December, 2017 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and H.H Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Patron of the Global NCDA Forum, today opened the most influential gathering of experts and decision makers in the field of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the second Global NCD Alliance Forum – taking place from 9-11 December at Sharjah’s Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
Having held the highly successful inaugural edition and influenced global agendas on NCDs in 2015, Sharjah-based Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) will welcome more than 350 delegates and 80 expert speakers to the including scientists, medical pioneers, support groups, NGOs and civil societies from 68 countries across five continents such as Kenya, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, Jordon, India, Zanzibar and many others.
At the opening ceremony, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi told the audience that among the leading causes of cancers were smoking, alcohol and obesity and that Sharjah had been taking positive steps to curb this for many years: We have implemented a ban on smoking in many public places which has led to a decrease in smoking deaths and for 32 years, Sharjah has once again taken the lead in the prohibition of alcohol – which is responsible for 10% of all cancer deaths – in any place within the emirate. As for obesity, Sharjah has forged ahead, supplying walkways in many locations so that people can go walking and jogging and lead a healthier lifestyle. We will also have one of the best air-conditioned walkways where even during the five hot months of the year, people can still exercise.”
Speaking of the forum itself, H.H. said that it is more than an event, it is a catalyst for change: “People thought that this forum may have been somewhere where speeches were given and plans were made, then everything was forgotten – this is not the case. This is a place of practical action. It is a credit to you all that you have stimulated us to take action and initiate many projects.” “We will continue to take action – it is a responsibility and you are our guiding light. Future results will be even better. We will implement your recommendations and we thank you for your guidance. We are here to support you and will fulfil our promise that you will see the results of your guidance when we meet here next year. “
The opening was also attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, President-Elect of the Union for International Cancer Control;Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention; Dr. Khaled Al Saleh, Secretary General of the Gulf Union for Cancer Control; José Luis Castro, President of the Alliance of Non-communicable Diseases; Sir George Alini, Honorary Director of the Pan American Health Organisation, member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Non-Communicable Diseases in America; and Katie Dean, Executive Director, Alliance of Non-communicable Diseases Organisations The NCD Alliance has chosen Sharjah to host the first two editions of the event, where the most respected NCD health experts from around the world strategies on how reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases – responsible for more than 40 million deaths globally each year.
Chairperson of the Friends of Cancer Patients Board of Directors Sawsan Jafar commented on the progress made from the inaugural NCD Alliance Forum.
“Today’s convention is a significant stride towards perpetuating the achievements of the forum’s first one held in Sharjah in 2015, which culminated in the ‘Sharjah Declaration for Non-Communicable Diseases’, emphasising the importance of supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030. The 2015 forum also resulted in a series of recommendations for governments, UN organisations, the business community, and local and international media corporations. These recommendations collectively call for catalysing and facilitating the adoption of measures to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.
“The proceedings of the first NCD Forum in Sharjah included recommendations for endorsing the ‘Global Targets for NCDs 2025’, and the ‘Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020’ prepared by the World Health Organisation.”
Sawsan Jafar added that the theme ‘Stepping up the Pace for NCDs: Making 2018 count’, reaffirms the forum’s commitment to put intentions into action, telling the speakers and dignitaries: “All these endeavours, efforts, and action plans present us with opportunities for creating a difference. Your presence today at the forum in its second edition affirms that our cooperation does indeed create impact, and confirms that the impact of our unity is significant. .Determined to continue this journey to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases, and improve the lives of patients, we aim to leverage partnerships and alliances and maximise efforts for the development of innovative and effective strategies.”