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WHA 2019 side-event: Bringing together actors from across the NCD and humanitarian spaces  

At the 2019 World Health Assembly (WHA), Partnering for Change organised an official side event on ‘Chronic Care in Humanitarian Crises’ that brought together approximately 140 stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines.

Technical staff and decision-makers from different sectors convened around the common cause of discussing how to provide better access to non-communicable disease (NCD) care for people living in humanitarian crises. The health component of the humanitarian response to emergencies has traditionally focused on the management of acute conditions such as trauma and infectious diseases. However, NCDs are highly prevalent worldwide – and humanitarian crises increase the risk of NCD exacerbations and impair the ability of health systems to respond. 

The event started with opening remarks from Morten Jespersen, Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations Office in Geneva, followed by a panel discussion. The discussion was centred around two main questions. 

What needs are there for integrating NCD care into the humanitarian health response, how can this be done, and what are the experiences so far?

Can multi-stakeholder partnerships be part of the solution? Views and experiences.

The panel debate was followed by a a general discussion and a Q&A with the audience Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross with his closing remarks concluded the event. 

Access the materials below

Side event highlights

Side event programme and speaker info

Moderated panel discussion

The panel discussion was moderated by Professor Pablo Perel (Co-Director of the Centre for Global Chronic Conditions, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine). The panellists were:

  • H.E. Ferozuddin Feroz (Minister of Public Health, Afghanistan)
  • Ren Minghui (Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage, Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases, WHO)
  • Esperanza Martinez (Head of Health, International Committee of the Red Cross) 
  • Heiko Hering (Senior Public Health Officer, UNHCR)
  • Ernest Massiah (Health Manager – Middle East & North Africa, World Bank)
  • Githinji Gitahi (Global CEO of Amref Health Africa and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of Universal Health Coverage 2030) 
  • Soraya Ramoul (Director, Global Access to Care, Novo Nordisk)

“To ensure an efficient response to NCDs as part of the humanitarian response … drawing upon the comparative advantages of different partners working across silos is key.”

Morten Jespersen,
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN Office