Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action

16 July 2013

Today, the NCD Alliance launched a programme

to support civil society efforts on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the national level. The new initiative, ‘Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action’, was announced at The Economist event “New Approaches to Non-Communicable Diseases” in South Africa, where experts discussed strategies to accelerate the prevention and control of NCDs.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease - kill approximately 36 million per year, with 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. If current trends continue, this figure is projected to rise to 52 million deaths by 2030.
Governments agreed at the recent World Health Assembly to a global target to reduce overall preventable NCD mortality by 25% by 2025. Reaching this target will now require significant progress at the country level, through government leadership and robust policies, and a strong NCD civil society presence.

The new NCD Alliance programme ‘Strengthening Health systems, Supporting NCD Action’ is designed to build the capacity of NCD civil society, to monitor national progress on NCDs and advocate for improved NCD policies and the strengthening of health systems. This programme, funded by Medtronic Philanthropy, will award more than $300,000 USD over two years to local partners in Brazil, South Africa, and the Caribbean region to build networks of action, conduct national level research and analysis to monitor progress on NCDs and identify gaps, develop dialogue with governments and other key stakeholders, and advocate for improved NCD policies, programmes and health systems strengthening.

Speaking at The Economist event, Katie Dain, Director of Policy and Campaigns of the NCD Alliance said “Now is the time for national action on NCDs. Civil society has a key role to play in supporting governments meet their global commitments. The NCD Alliance’s new programme ‘Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action’ will help build the capacity of civil society to inspire action and accountability on NCDs, and ensure meaningful change for the millions of people at risk or living with NCDs today”.

The grant from Medtronic Philanthropy continues an ongoing strategic commitment from the company to help reduce the global burden of NCDs, which began by supporting the NCD Alliance’s contributions to the historic 2011 United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs.
“For more than three years, we’ve been working with influential global stakeholders such as the NCD Alliance to help ensure that countries are equipped to turn global policy direction into national implementation,” says Dr. Jacob Gayle, Vice President, Medtronic Philanthropy, “To increase access to chronic disease care for people worldwide, especially the underserved, it will take a concerted effort to strengthen overall healthcare systems. This is a promising step in the right direction.”
The NCD Alliance is currently accepting applications from local organisations to be a National Implementing Partner as part of ‘Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action’. Please see the NCD Alliance website for more information:

About the NCD Alliance
The NCD Alliance was founded by the International Diabetes Federation, the Union for International Cancer Control, the World Heart Federation and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). The NCD Alliance is a network of more than 2,000 organisations leading the global civil society movement against premature death and preventable illness and disability from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes. These conditions share common risk factors including tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and harmful alcohol use. The NCD Alliance aims to ensure that NCDs are central to the next generation of global development goals.
To interview NCD Alliance Chair Mr Cary Adams (also Chief Executive Officer of the Union for International Cancer Control), please contact: Vanessa Von der Mühll, Head of Communications, Marketing and Web, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Tel: +41 22 809 18 90,
Or please contact NCD Alliance Director Policy and Campaigns, Ms Katie Dain, on +44 7804 252 123,

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people worldwide. Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

Press release available for download here: NCDA Press Release - Launch of Program to Support NCD civil society efforts - 16 July 2013.pdf

Last update: 
Monday 26 June 2017