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Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum: 1st Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases Congress is to be organized in January 2014 26 November 2013
Under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of Dubai Health Authority, the First Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases Congress will be organized in Dubai during the period extending from the 9th to the 11th of January 2014 at the Conference Centre at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. The congress is expected to be attended by more than 1500 medical specialists and physicians working in the primary healthcare sector and nursing and administrative staff from the medical, school health, and private sectors.
 
The Congress is organized by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Authority, Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, and the Oncology Services, Mafraq Hospital, in addition to four UAE medical associations, namely Emirates Diabetes Society, Emirates Cardiac Society, Emirates Society of Nephrology and Emirates Respiratory Society. 
 
This was announced during the press conference held by the Higher Committee organizing the First Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Congress at Dubai Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. The press conference was attended by Prof. Najib Al Khaja, Secretary General, Hamdan Medical Award, and the congress president, Dr. Nooshin Bazargani, Board member of Emirates Cardiac Society, Board Member of World Heart Federation, Consultant Cardiologist, and a member of the scientific Committee of the Congress, and Dr. Bassam Mahboub, President, Emirates Respiratory Society and congress co-chair.
 
During the press conference, the details of the Conference were announced. It is being held for the first time in the Middle East to discuss issues relating to five chronic diseases regarded as the main cause of 67% of the total deaths in the UAE, namely heart and cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory tract, cancer, and kidney diseases. 
 
The Conference participants affirmed that the First Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Congress in the UAE is a practical response to the strategic plan developed by the United Nations, which aims at making the rate of deaths resulting from non-communicable diseases to fall to 25% by 2025. 
 
In this context, the World Health Organization convened a high-level meeting in September 2011 to discuss the chronic non-communicable diseases' issue, where it was unanimously agreed that non-communicable diseases pose a significant burden on public health as they are proven to hinder development in all countries. According to an economic analysis, every 10% increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases leads to a decrease of 0.5 % in the volume of annual economic growth. It was consequently agreed during the meeting upon the World Health Organization's commitment towards the international community to respond quickly to reduce the rate of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases. 
 
The World Health Organization participates in the Conference which will take place over a whole day, namely the 9th of January 2014, through an intensive preparatory program dedicated for medical specialists. 
 
The main themes of the Conference will include a study of the extent of spread of diabetes, cardiovascular, kidney and respiratory track diseases and tumors in the UAE, as well as an in-depth discussion of the diseases' causes and prevention and treatment policies in light of the many local, regional and international experiences brought in the Conference and according to the needs of the countries of the region in general, and the Gulf states in particular. 
 
On the sidelines of the Conference, six workshops will be held on tobacco control, institution of a Quit Smoking Clinic, how to care for diabetics, edification of diabetics and patients with pulmonary embolism, how to write and conduct medical research, in addition to the events of the Technical Exhibition organized by high school students in the UAE to express their own views and perceptions on the non-communicable chronic diseases, where the top three artworks will be awarded a prize. 
 
The participants of the press conference mentioned and pointed out many factors that lead to such a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, namely smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy habits of eating unhygienic and unhealthy meals such as fast food, in addition to drinking alcoholic beverages, stressing the importance of making use of this fact in the unification of efforts to organize common disease-prevention programs.
 
It should be noted that the scope of action related to the implementation of the United Nation's Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases includes, with respect to governance, the integration of non-communicable diseases in policies and national development plans, increasing the budget allocations to address non-communicable diseases and giving them priority as well as developing a policy and multi-sectorial plans by 2013 and establishing effective mechanisms for engaging various sectors of the state in light of the lessons learned, and assessing the national capacities for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases using the Organization's protocol.
 
In the area of prevention and reduction of risk factors, it is expected that countries accelerate the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including special measures to reduce tobacco consumption, implement the World Health Organization recommendations on the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children, increase taxes on alcohol, implement interventions to reduce salt intake, organize media and awareness campaigns about diet and physical activity, replace hydrogenated fat by non-hydrogenated fat, promote breastfeeding, and develop clear indicators to measure the participation of sectors other than the health sector .
 
Concerning the observation, monitoring and evaluation, countries are expected to implement the Organization's framework to monitor the non-communicable diseases, develop national objectives and indicators based on the guidelines of the Organization, integrate the monitoring and control systems of the non-communicable diseases in the national health information systems and develop clear indicators to measure the participation of sectors other than the health sector. 
 
Concerning healthcare, communicable disease interventions should be integrated in the core group of the Primary Health Care with a priority given to the high interventions aimed at promoting early discovery and treatment, based on the Word Health Organization's recommendations. It is also necessary to improve the provision of essential medicines and safe technologies and the availability of care services, explore practical mechanisms of health financing and innovative methods such as imposing taxes on tobacco and alcohol and using them to finance health expansions.
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