IOGT International with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, and our members the Stop Drink Network, Thailand; ADIC Sri Lanka; and the IOGT-NTO Movement Sweden Regional Office, Chiang Mai, Thailand are jointly applying to conduct a side meeting during PMAC 2019 on a groundbreaking and innovative topic, highly relevant to the overall theme and linked to the Agenda 2030 era.
For NCDs the stakes have never been higher, after the watershed year of 2018.
- Every year 38 million people die from NCDs. That’s more deaths than all other diseases combined.
- 40% of people who die from NCDs are in their most productive years – clearly showing to which degree NCDs are not only health but also economic and sustainability threats.
- Almost 2/3 of NCDs deaths are linked to the four major risk factors, including alcohol.
- NCDs burden low and middle-income countries the heaviest: 75% of all NCDs deaths occur in LMICs. In developing countries, NCDs are increasing faster, in younger people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries.
Through addressing the risk factors by implementing evidence-based policy solutions and community-based interventions, NCDs can largely be prevented. Yet, 2018 and the political declarations before show that the prevention dimension of the global NCDs disaster is too often forgotten and not yet systematically discussed and addressed.
This side meeting is therefore a critical contribution to elevating the global conversation about the role of risk factor prevention, its economic case and its benefits for promoting sustainable development.
There is a clear imperative for action on, for example, alcohol prevention:
Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development, adversely affecting 13 of 17
SDGs. Alcohol is a major risk factor for NCDs and mental ill-health. There is a strong link
between alcohol and NCDs, particularly cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver disease,
pancreatitis and diabetes.
- Alcohol kills 3 million people worldwide every year. Every 10 seconds a human being dies because of alcohol.
- Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions, including NCDs.
- Alcohol disproportionately harms the youth
And alcohol is harming economic productivity and sustainability of communities and
entire societies around the world.
- The economic burden of alcohol worldwide is substantial, accounting for approximately 5.44% of Growth Domestic Product in some countries.
Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death and disability among people aged 15 to 49 years worldwide. This is the age range in which people are typically at their most productive economically.
NCDs and their risk factors are largely preventable. Preventing problems from occurring or expanding represents by far the best approach to the NCDs tsunami – especially considering the burden of the risk factors. In the era of sustainable development a pivot to evidence-based prevention and health promotion holds four major benefits:
- People and community empowerment § Human Rights-based
Building societies, communities and environments that allow for healthy lifestyles and foster health-promoting norms is essential because treatment alone is not enough to beat NCDs and prevention and health promotion are economically sound interventions generating positive outcomes beyond the realm of health.
This side meeting will make the compelling case for alcohol prevention as a critical tool in the overall response to prevent and control NCDs.
To achieve this, the side event will give voice to community representatives that are rarely part of the conversation but that contribute greatly to the efforts to beat NCDs.
The side meeting will cover three overarching topics:
1) Community mobilization for evidence-based prevention,
2) The investment case for the alcohol policy best buys as tools to effectively
prevent harm, and
3) The economics of prevention in the era of the SDGs.
Each topic will be presented by a high-level expert keynote speaker, followed by group discussions around prepared roundtable questions and a follow-up discussion in the plenary to foster broader dialogue and give voice to different perspectives and stakeholders. Each topic will be wrapped-up briefly by the moderator of the event, outlining concrete take aways.