A Message to the WHO about Children & NCDs from Civil Society

A Message to the WHO about Children & NCDs from Civil Society

In conjunction with a range of Child-focused organisations, NCD Child has been advocating for more global attention on the need to include children in Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) policies. This will help children who are living with Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Asthma and a wide range of other chronic health conditions - as well as prevent children from getting NCDs in later life.

Please take a minute or two to help NCD Child in our effort to inform the proceedings and outcomes of the Civil Society Interactive Hearing on NCDs, to be held 16 June 2011, at the United Nations. This hearing is in preparation for the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs on September 19-20. The World Health Organization (WHO) has an online form available for input submissions, and your input is needed by close of business Friday, 10 June 2011.
To make this process easy, we have provided instructions and recommended text below, which you can simply cut and paste into the form at http://www.who.int/nmh/events/2011/online_form/en/index.html.

  • Enter your name
  • Select your country from the list
  • Feel free to enter “CLAN (Caring & Living As Neighbours)” in the field for “Organization or Affiliation” (or enter the name of your own organization).
  • Indicate that you are responding as an “Individual”. (CLAN will be responding on behalf of our organization.)
  • Enter your email address.

Copy and paste the following text into the box. (This text is less than the maximum 8000 characters allowed.)




As a supporter of children's rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in recognition of their vulnerability, I care deeply about the need to include children in all NCD policies. I am writing in support of the following recommendations, prepared by NCD Child and other Child-focused organisations around the world, and ask that they will be seriously considered in preparation for the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in September.


 Recommendations: In focusing on the burden of NCDs in children we call on:


The global community to: 

  1. Expect sustained and strong high-level public, private and political support for specific commitments that integrate child-specific, lifecourse considerations within NCD policies and actions  
  2. Empower and enable children and young people’s voices within decisions that affect them  
  3. Broadcast the message that the vast majority of children and youth with NCDs can, and should, live full and productive lives, free from stigma and shame  
  4. Identify ambitious child-specific targets and transparent reporting systems to monitor progress on priority child-specific actions


The UN and its related agencies, such as UNICEF to:

  1. Focus efforts to address the underlying social determinants of NCDs in children
  2. Establish clear funding mechanisms to support specific collaborative action to prevent, diagnose, treat and research NCDs in children
  3. Encourage South-South and North-South knowledge sharing to escalate efforts for strategic, systematic and sustainable change that will improve the lives of children now and in the future
  4. Ensure appropriate allocation of resources by UN agencies with a primary mission that includes children, such as, but not limited to UNICEF, UNDEP, UNWomen, UNFPA and WHO
  5. Establish key child focused forums for sharing updates and regular progress reports on these national and international commitments to children


National governments to:

  1. Ensure national policies on agriculture, trade, industry, education, health and transport shape social determinants linked to NCDs so that they promote good health of families and children.
  2. Examples include, but are not limited to, those social determinants that promote maternal nutrition, maternal and child survival, healthy diets, breastfeeding and physical activity, and reduce harmful alcohol, tobacco and air pollution exposure (notably unsafe cook-stoves)
  3. Accelerate implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and child-focused efforts to prevent initiation of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  4. Raise the priority of children within global NCD agendas, and increase funding for child-specific actions


Ministries of Health to:

  1. Ensure integration of feasible and cost-effective methods of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of NCDs into pediatric primary care settings and resources
  2. Prioritise establishment of cost-effective Newborn Screening programs in all countries
  3. Strengthen health systems to provide child-centered care across different levels of the health system
  4. Deliver cost-effective and affordable essential drugs and technologies for all children
  5. Ensure investment in training and education of health professionals in specialties dealing with NCDs in children, and prioritise having a skilled birth attendant at every birth, to prevent maternal and child deaths, and reduce asphyxia and cerebral palsy
  6. Promote community-based action that ensures children and families who are living with NCDs enjoy the highest quality of life possible
  7. Ensure that national health insurance schemes include coverage for NCDs affecting children
  8. Urgently focus on child-specific health data and registries relating to NCDs