Non-communicable diseases

Public Health Once and for all

6TH APCAT SUMMIT 2021: Leaders of cities in the Asia Pacific commit to united local actions to meet global health goals

End tobacco is an essential part of the bedrock for Universal Health Coverage Can we deliver on the promise of health for all unless we fix the gaping and widening punctures that are causing epidemic-proportion of preventable diseases and untimely deaths? No one needs to suffer from preventable illnesses or die from curable diseases. Tobacco use kills over 8 million people worldwide every year. While ‘Big Tobacco’ industries become richer, it is the governments and the people worldwide who are not only dealing with mountainous health crises but also becoming more vulnerable to fritter away whatever progress they have been able to make towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and targets. That is why in lead up to 2021 Universal Health Coverage Day, Mayors of several cities across the Asia and the Pacific region, met at the 6th Summit of the Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Health and Development (6th APCAT Summit), and called for integrated and equitable health responses, stronger action against tobacco, preventing non-communicable diseases, and protecting lung health. The Mayors and other delegates of the 6th APCAT Summit endorsed the Declaration which commits subnational leaders for stronger action for advancing tobacco control, preventing non-communicable diseases, leveraging synergies between Covid response and other health and development responses, and firewalling health and development policies and programmes from industry interferences. Moreover, it highlights the need of sustaining routine vaccination programmes, TB control and preventing mother to child transmission of viral hepatitis during pandemics to prevent a secondary health crisis. “I ensured tobacco control activities continued during the pandemic as those who suffered severe Covid disease have been heavy smokers as well. Stopping smoking is part of Covid prevention protocol campaign in Bogor City” said Dr Bima Arya Sugiarto, Mayor of Bogor City in Indonesia, and co-Chair of APCAT. “Tobacco control is an issue that requires multisectoral cooperation,” said Francis A Garcia, Mayor of Balanga City in the Philippines, and co-Chair of APCAT. That is why Mayors and other subnational leaders who are best placed to synergise multisectoral response locally for advancing tobacco control and prevention of non-communicable diseases, have…

Dr Chivorn Var, convener of forthcoming 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights

To ensure health security for everyone, especially the marginalized people, we need to ensure progress on health and other areas too : Dr Var

Accelerating progress on sexual & reproductive health & rights is key driver towards SDGs Improvements in the health sector, as well as in other sectors such as infrastructure development, economic growth and poverty reduction, play a major role in improving not only health and life expectancy of the people, but also have a direct impact on their sexual and reproductive health. Recognizing the importance of integrated sustainable development, 193 countries committed to deliver on the promise of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where no-one-is-left-behind. With only less than 131 months left to deliver on 2030-SDGs, a reality check is key to ensure the world delivers on all targets, for everyone, everywhere. “Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as envisioned in the SDGs, are about universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, addressing issues related to gender, comprehensive sexuality education and maternal mortality, and integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes” said Dr Chivorn Var, convener of forthcoming 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR10, and Executive Director of Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC). SRHR : Cambodia is more liberal and progressive than many other countries of the Asia Pacific region Added Dr Chivorn Var: “Cambodia is more liberal and progressive regarding issues related to SRHR than many other countries of the Asia Pacific region. SRHR falls within the scope of the fundamental human rights and are central to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development across various socio-economic and environmental dimensions.” Progress has happened but is it fast enough? Over the years, the overall health status of the Cambodian people has improved through expansion of medical facilities, as well as social health protection system. In the last five years, Cambodia has added nearly 100 new health centres and 30 hospitals. This has resulted in increased accessibility to healthcare services, including those for sexual and reproductive health needs. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has declined from 470 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 160 in 2017 (SDG target for 2030 is to reduce MMR to 70). Cambodia has also made…