KARACHI – Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR) announced their partnership in SAMAR’s Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCDA-Pak).
NCDA-Pak was launched by SAMAR in November 2014 which has officially declared the Alliance’s vision for eradicating and preventing the health risk factors, leading to non-communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis impaired lung growth etc. to promote public health in Pakistan.
SAMAR has been already engaged with tobacco control efforts in Pakistan through its flagship “Coalition for Tobacco Control – Pakistan (CTC-Pak)” since 2007 and from its experiences felt the need to attend to other notable issues concerning the health of Pakistanis; Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). To address the need, SAMAR launched a dedicated alliance that includes health and policy specialists as well as civil society organisations having a particular focus on NCD keeping in view that tobacco is one of the main contributors towards these diseases. This platform is also believed to be an opportunity for the CTC-Pak members.
“No concrete data or evidence is available to bring forward the alarming situation Pakistan is heading towards when it comes to non-communicable diseases. Thus, no particular health cost study to reveal how gruesome a situation we are in. “The NCDA is intending to minimize these issues and effects of NCD’s on the country.
Having PMA as partners not only strengthens the commitment of the NCDA towards achieving its objective, but also brings on board a credible technical support in the form of a brilliant medical expertise.
NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. They are of long duration and generally slow progression. The four main types of non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.
NCDs threaten progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. Poverty is closely linked with NCDs. The rapid rise in NCDs is predicted to impede poverty reduction initiatives in low-income countries, particularly by forcing up household costs associated with health care. Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and die sooner than people of higher social positions, especially because they are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful products, such as tobacco or unhealthy food, and have limited access to health services.
In low-resource settings, health-care costs for cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes or chronic lung diseases can quickly drain household resources, driving families into poverty. The exorbitant costs of NCDs, including often lengthy and expensive treatment and loss of breadwinners, are forcing millions of people into poverty annually and stifling development.