OAKLAND, Calif., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Public Health Institute (PHI) will convene leading health experts on March 19 and 20 in Oakland, California, to discuss the increasing impact of non-communicable disease (NCD) on the health and well-being of the world's children. An important follow-up event to the historic United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs, the NCD Child Conference seeks to highlight and disseminate effective prevention and treatment strategies focused on children and adolescents.
"Not only are more young people diagnosed with an NCD but many of the behaviors that lead to an NCD later in life – such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet or alcohol abuse – start in childhood and adolescence," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. "Therefore, it is critical that global NCD prevention strategies take into account the special needs and considerations of youth."
The NCD Child Conference is organized by PHI with Caring and Living as Neighbors (CLAN) and the Global Health Council. The two-day conference will feature representatives from PHI, the Pan American Health Organization, Partners in Health, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and other leading non-governmental health organizations. The conference has been sponsored by the Medtronic Foundation and The California Endowment, with additional support from the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
NCDs consist mainly of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
The World Health Organization estimates that NCDs caused about two-thirds of all deaths in 2008. Contrary to the popular belief that developed countries are more affected by NCDs, low- and middle-income countries bear nearly 80 percent of the global NCD burden. Children are put at increased risk of developing an NCD by rising obesity rates, exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution, increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and pervasive marketing of junk food and tobacco targeting youth, among many other factors.
Recognizing the toll that NCDs have on global health and development, the United Nations held a High Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2011. This was only the second time in its history that the UN held such a meeting on a health issue (the first was HIV/AIDS).
"The good news is that organizations such as PHI can point to many effective programs to reduce the impact of NCDs on children, including successful asthma management and obesity prevention initiatives," said Suzanne Petroni, PhD, vice president of global health at PHI. "It's now critical that effective strategies be disseminated and shared with partners around the world."
The NCD Child Conference will take place on March 19 and 20 at The California Endowment's Oakland Conference Center: 1111 Broadway, 7th Fl, Oakland, CA 94607. Registration is required. More information can be found at www.ncdchild.com.
PHI, an independent nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, is dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and an improved quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. PHI's primary methods for achieving these goals include: sharing evidence developed through quality research and evaluation; providing training and technical assistance; and promoting successful prevention strategies to policymakers, communities, and individuals.
SOURCE Public Health Institute