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On the 5th of July the WSO President Werner Hacke and the WSO Chief Executive Maria Grupper participated in a Civil Society Interactive Hearing, convened by the President of the UN General Assembly and WHO, in New York. The hearing was part of the formal preparatory process for the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs due to take place on 27th September 2018.

Photo UN room

WSO President Werner Hacke and WSO Chief Executive Maria Grupper at the Civil Society Interactive Hearing

The event provided an opportunity for civil society and other stakeholders to speak and to submit their recommendations for the outcome of the HLM- It also provided an advocacy opportunity for those outside the UN building to mobilise and call for urgent action from governments in order to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by 30% by 2030. It is clear from current trajectories that unless urgent action is taken now the world will fall far short of this goal.

WSO President Werner Hacke spoke at the event, He said that the facts have been known for decades, the solutions are obvious and that there had been  enough time for discussion.  He called for political leaders to finally act on what we know will work to reduce mortality from stroke and other NCDs.

The WSO Call to Action for Governments

1) Awareness: Member States must strengthen programs that increase awareness of stroke symptoms, stroke risk factors and prevention, and the consequences of stroke.

2) Access and implementation: We support WHO, NCD Alliance Partners and Member States in their efforts to remove financial barriers to prevention and detection of NCDs through universal health coverage and essential medicines and devices including stroke units and re-canalization treatment as an evidence-based policy; this will allow for implementation of population-wide prevention strategies and access to acute stroke services.

3) Action: We support the WHO and UN Member States in the development of regional and national strategies (such as the HEARTS package and the implementation of WSO Global Guidelines for Quality Stroke Care) to deliver the health-related Sustainable Development Goals, in particular for the reduction of premature NCD deaths by one-third by 2030.

Read our full statement here

Raising the profile of stroke in NCD discourse 

Stroke shares many risk factors with other NCDs, providing a clear rationale and opportunity for us to work in partnership with colleagues in CVD, Cancer, Diabetes, Kidney Disease and others on a common prevention agenda. WSO is an active partner in the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, collaborating to launch a White Paper on Circulatory Health in the environs of the UN HLM in New York. We look forward to sharing the document with our members.

WSO is also committed to making sure that stroke isn’t lost in the bigger NCD picture. We are working to increase awareness of the burden of stroke and to improve understanding of the specific treatment and support needs of people who have had a stroke. We are currently finalising a Policy Brief on Stroke and NCDs which will be published and launched by the NCD Alliance. We look forward to sharing this with you and hope that it will support your local advocacy efforts.