NUMS Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted Global Week for Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 15 August to 5 September 2022. The advocacy event on September 5, marked the end of the awareness and health promotion Campaign. Prof. Dr. Uzma Hassan, Head of Department Public Health, speaking on the subject said that the youth-led activity is to mark the inextricable interconnections between health, chronic diseases, and sustainable development. Cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, cancers, diabetes, and mental health problems are constantly on the rise and these major groups of NCDs (also called chronic diseases) account for 77% of all NCD deaths in Low-and middle-income countries like Pakistan.
Dr. Hina Shan, Assistant Professor DPH and Focal Person of NUMS to NCD Alliance (NCDA) highlighted chronic diseases and disability challenges related to recent climate driven calamity in Pakistan. The flash floodings have caused massive socioeconomic constraints and afflicted health systems with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. According to the latest statistics by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) the devastating floods have affected 3.6 million acres of crops, killed 750k livestock, and 1.69 million houses have been destroyed worsening the fragile humanitarian situation of people. NCDs have socioeconomic implications with physical and psychological strains requiring shared responsibility and multisectoral action to scale up and accelerate action on NCDs.
The faculty and students presented their work on chronic diseases and climate change; meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs; the significance of NCDs across SDGs; Act for SDGs theme for the year 2022; and generating momentum through voices of change for NCDS & SDGs. Dr. Tamkeen Jaffry, Associate Professor, DPH shared the survey findings of chronic diseases, obesity and its risk factor, also showcased the substance abuse and school health program being conducted in her supervision. Dr. Raima Asif gave a brief on her recent research findings on nutritional status in adolescent girls and self-medication. The abstract on facilitators and barriers in self-management of Diabetes was presented by Miss Rubab Zulfiqar. Student BSPH Ms. Salwa Manzoor presented the NCD Alliance’s 2022 theme ‘Invest to Protect’ that seeks to ensure ‘NCD prevention and management get the attention and action they deserve, everywhere, for everyone.’
Air Cdre Muhammad Ismail, SI(M) (Retd), Director Quality Assurance NUMS, praising the campaign said, it would make the difference in prevention and management of NCDs and would also help achieve SDGs. Prof. Dr. Aisha Mohyuddin, Dean Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, NUMS in her remarks appreciated the efforts of DPH team for educating the general population especially youth about NCDs and integration of Public Health and ecosystem health to foster sustainable planet.
Prof Dr. Uzma Hassan, HoD DPH thanked the honorable guests Prof. Dr. Aisha Mohyuddin, Dean Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, and Air Cdre Muhammad Ismail, SI(M) (Retd)-Director Quality Assurance, NUMS for gracing the occasion. She praised her team and encouraged the students to continue with their efforts to increase societies resilience and recovery in a flood-stricken Pakistan.