10,000 Women's Perspectives on NCDs - A New Global Survey from Arogya World Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action Explores Impact of NCDs on Women

NEW YORK, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Arogya World, with partner organizations from multiple sectors, announced today, in advance of International Women's Day, the start of a global quantitative survey to gather the perspectives of 10,000 women in 10 countries on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).  Arogya World and its partners Novartis, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, American Cancer Society, UNICEF, Population Services International, Abt SRBI and Jana, have come together to begin work on a Commitment to Action they made at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.  This important public health collaborative effort aims to highlight the impact of NCDs on women and their families, and to use women's voices to move governments to action.

"NCDs are the number one cause of death amongst women, yet their concerns and specific needs are not being addressed by the global community," said Nalini Saligram, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Arogya World.  "With this survey we commit to providing the data that will compel decision-makers to address NCDs and help women and children lead healthier lives."

"We see the increase of NCDs, especially in developing countries, as a major global health problem. That's why Novartis is proud to collaborate with Arogya World on their 10,000 Women survey, drawing attention to the impact of NCDs on women's lives around the world," said Jurgen Brokatzky-Geiger, Global Head, Corporate Responsibility for Novartis.

"It is well known that NCDs are largely preventable.  But that is not being effectively translated into action at the country level.  We are eager to use this survey's findings about women's exposure to NCD risk factors, and their perceptions about the barriers to treatment and care, to get policymakers to invest in women-centered NCD programs," said Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

"Cancer and other NCDs have a profound impact on women.  We believe this survey is important as it can highlight the strong link between women and NCDs, influence the post-2015 Development agenda and ensure that women continue to be projected as leaders of their own health and that of their families," said Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President Global Programs, American Cancer Society, and former head of the Taskforce on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Women's Health.

Innovative mobile and Web technologies are used to survey 1,000 women 18-40 years old, in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK, and US– to reach a total of 10,000 women.  These are a mix of developing, low-income and developed countries from different regions of the world.  In addition, some women will be videotaped in each country to gather their personal stories of how they are coping with and fighting NCDs.  The quantitative survey report and the accompanying videos will be released later this year.

"If we are serious about leaving the world a healthier place for our children, we must act now to prevent and control NCDs," said Kerida McDonald, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Communication for Development, UNICEF. "Data help to make change by identifying needs and supporting advocacy.  This survey will help to provide some of the evidence needed to make change regarding NCDs."

"To PSI, women are the cornerstone of global health and development," said PSI's Vice President of Sexual and Reproductive Health and TB, Krishna Jafa. "Ensuring they have access to NCD prevention, treatment and care programs helps improve the health of families and communities."

The survey is currently in implementation. 

"We are eager to partner on this important initiative and bring to this project our expertise in survey design and global health surveys," said Ken Gaalswyk, Vice President of International Research at Abt SRBI, a key implementation partner. 

"Together, the voices of 10,000 women can change the world," said Nathan Eagle, CEO of Jana. "Our mobile technology platform will enable these voices to be heard, and further the goal of putting NCDs on the action list of policy makers worldwide."

NCDs – which include heart disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung diseases (including asthma and COPD) - are among the greatest health and development challenges of the century. Impacting both developed and developing countries, NCDs cause 2 out of 3 deaths globally, and are the number one killer of women. Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by these diseases since they are often most likely to miss school or work to care for family members who fall ill.

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of heart disease, 80% diabetes and 40% cancers are preventable through avoiding tobacco, increasing physical activity and eating healthy foods. In many countries, however, women are believed to be disadvantaged with regard to prevention due to illiteracy, and social and cultural barriers.

About Arogya World
Arogya World (www.arogyaworld.org) is a global health non-profit organization, committed to changing the course of chronic disease, one community at a time. Arogya means 'good health' in Sanskrit and denotes living life without disease. The organization believes deeply in prevention, advocates for NCD prevention through lifestyle changes globally, and in India, implements programs for diabetes prevention through lifestyle change.

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

SOURCE Arogya World



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