Executive Director, GHLI
The global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer is staggering. According to the World Health Organization, NCDs represent 43% of the burden of disease and are expected to be responsible for 73% of deaths worldwide by 2020. Most of this increase will be accounted for by emerging NCD epidemics in developing countries. In Uganda, NCDs have become a pressing issue, and the leadership of the country is determined to act.
Stemming from a relationship with the Yale School of Medicine that began in 2006 with Mulago Hospital, the teaching hospital of Makerere University in Kampala, I recently visited Uganda to meet with key stakeholders to understand the landscape of NCDs in that country and prepare for a Ugandan delegation to attend the GHLI Conference at Yale in June. During the Conference, health practitioners, policymakers and researchers from around the world convene to facilitate collaborative, locally-driven solutions to improve health.
GHLI’s work with Uganda will focus on developing a strategy to address NCDs. Student and staff support will be offered at all phases to help organize and implement their plan —including sending student fellows back home with the delegates to begin work on the ground in their country. In addition to NCDs, delegations from Brazil, Ghana, and Trinidad and Tobago will also attend the GHLI Conference to share challenges, insights and develop strategies to address mental health and early childhood development.
Our work with colleagues in the School of Medicine and in Uganda is central to our interest in developing strong collaborations that lead to sustainable solutions. We look forward to working with them and our other delegations to develop new strategies to address growing health issues like NCDs.