Fact: in 2013, three out of five global deaths resulted from an NCD.
Fact: the true face of the global epidemic of NCDs is not an older, richer, American male - but likely to be under 70, living in poverty and probably living in Asia.
Fact: NCDs are not diseases of wealth and laziness, they are diseases causing, resulting from and entrenching poverty and deeply linked to our social and built environments. They are a poverty-cycle catalyst that, under-recognised and ignored, threaten to undo much of the progress we have made in global and local poverty reduction and economic development these last decades.
Fact: NCDs affect almost everyone in some way.
NCDs, or Non-Communicable Diseases are a group of diseases connected by their causes - or what causes them. They are those diseases we cannot catch from each other and include diabetes, heart disease, cancers, lung conditions and mental illnesses. They share determinants including poor diet, often resulting from a food system driven by consumption and profit; a lack of exercise, in part resulting from a rapidly urbanising and mechanising world; tobacco use as the tobacco industry moves its focus to poorer nations as a source of addicts; and alcohol consumption.
But importantly, 80% of diabetes and heart disease and one-third of cancers are preventable - often taking the same measures to prevent some or even all NCDs. Measures which we know to exist and often cost very little or even save money.
Yet despite these facts, NCDs and related obesity attract enormous taboo and discrimination. To challenge this and celebrate those living with an NCD and those working to address NCDs, this week NCDFREE launched a new campaign called The Face of NCDs. A crowd-sourced, online community of stories and faces, #TheFace is your face - submitted by the anyone to wants to tell their NCD story. This could be a recent resolution to get healthy, a past encounter with disease or some work you are doing to help others stay healthier longer.
Through personal narrative and the power of people, we can start a new conversation on NCDs and show the true face of the global challenge.
Get on board and help us bring meaningful change to this group of misunderstood and under-recognised diseases.
We all have an NCD story - what’s yours?…
Submit your story today to www.thefaceofncds.org.