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Women Play Important Role In Fighting NCDs

“As world leaders make their way to New York this month to attend the United Nations General Assembly, we call on them to renew their commitments to combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” Jill Sheffield, president of Women Deliver, and Nalini Saligram, founder of Arogya World, write in the Huffington Post “Global Motherhood” blog, adding, “Tackling NCDs with a woman-centered focus is a critical step towards reaching all development goals.” They continue, “The solution to curbing NCDs and maternal mortality ultimately rests in improving women’s access to strong and capable health systems.” In addition, “[t]eaching women about NCD prevention by promoting healthy lifestyles will result in women not only changing their own lives, but also steer their families and entire communities towards healthy living,” they state, adding, “Educated and empowered women can work to build a healthier, more sustainable world and lift families out of poverty.” Finally, “[i]t’s also important to look at new solutions and technologies,” including clean cookstoves, Sheffield and Saligram write.

“In the spirit of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Every Woman, Every Child’ initiative, which aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015, we ask for a focus on women as countries build NCD action plans,” the authors state, concluding, “We must seize this unprecedented global movement to improve policy and services on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children. Because when you take care of women, women take care of their children and indeed the whole world” (9/17).