Health systems and social and environmental factors are not the only determinants that affect our health and well-being, it is also highly influenced by various political, economic, and commercial factors. These factors require good governance to achieve positive change. Presently, the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) burden is progressively growing, creating the need for different governing approaches that can cut across different levels and sectors to achieve sustainable and equal outcomes for all.
To discuss this issue further, EMPHNET held a webinar titled “Good Governance to Tackle NCDs in the EMR” on Tuesday, Sep 6, 2022. The two-hour session offered a space to highlight the importance of good governance in combatting NCDs and the challenges affecting it. The session also provided an opportunity to propose applicable, sustainable, and innovative strategies for governance to maintain and improve. The discussion also focused on the proposed conceptual models to assess it at a national level, and the best practices through diverse learnings from global, regional, and country experiences.
The session was led by four speakers namely: Regional Advisor, NCD Prevention, World Health Organization, EMRO, Dr. Lamia Mahmoud; Regional Advisor a.i, Health Systems Governance at World Health Organization, Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean Region, Dr. Hala Abou Taleb; Director of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, Iraq, Dr. Muna Khalifa Ali Ata-Allah; and Director of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, Oman, Dr. Shadha S. Al-Raisi. The session was moderated by Public Health Expert, Professor, Baghdad University, Iraq, Dr. Faris Lami.
Dr. Lami started the webinar by welcoming the speakers and giving an introduction on the topic and stating the objectives of the webinar. He also introduced the speakers by giving a brief introduction about their professional backgrounds.
Dr. Lamia Mahmoud started her presentation by stating that the lack of preventive NCD service costs the world 28 lives every second, especially in low- and middle- income countries. In addition, she presented the percentage of NCD mortality both globally and regionally. She also Demonstrated the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their link to NCDs, as well as the WHO advocacy for NCDs and technical guidelines. Finally, she highlighted the upcoming Global Group of Heads of State and Government for the Prevention and Control of NCDs on 21 September 2022.
Succeeding and complementing Dr. Mahmoud’s Presentation, Dr. Hala Abou Taleb underlined the health systems’ functions and how they relate to NCDs by presenting a conceptual analytical framework applied to the NCD program. She also mentioned four relevant sub-functions of governance, and shared regional reflections and experiences.
In the next presentation, Dr. Muna Khaleefa Ali presented “The Prevention and Control of NCDs in Iraq,” stating that NCDs are the main public health concern in Iraq. She further explained the multi-sectoral national strategy developed by Iraq for the control of NCDs. She highlighted how NCDs are introduced in all policies such as political platforms and MOH strategy. Dr. Khaleefa Ali also discussed the challenges, and the risk factors for preventing such diseases in Iraq. She ended her presentation by addressing the next steps needed to ensure the continuity of the strategy.
The last presenter in this session, Dr. Shadha Al-Raisi talked about “Oman’s Response to Addressing NCD Burden Through Multi-sectoral Action.” She briefly described the NCD burden in Oman. Afterwards, she highlighted the committees established by Oman in response to NCDs namely, the National Multi-sectoral NCD Committee, and the National Committee for Tobacco Control. Dr. Al-Raisi also called attention to Oman’s efforts in developing the national NCD action plan, and the establishment of other regional health committees. Dr. Al Raisi also stressed on the importance of maintaining multi-sectorial dialogue and involvement in the mentioned action plan, and the ongoing monitoring progress. She subsequently elaborated on the achievements of the multisectoral action and the future opportunities.
Following the presentations, Dr. Lami facilitated the Q&A session where participants and panelists engaged in the discussion. He then concluded the session by thanking the speakers and the attendees for their participation.
A total of 141 participants attended the webinar, deeming it another success in the EMPHNET WEBi Series.