• Network supported by Philips will undertake ASEAN-wide study on Innovations in NCD Management
• Digital platform to raise awareness on NCDs across the region unveiled
Singapore – A group of healthcare experts across the ASEAN region today announced the formation of the ASEAN Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Network and a white paper on Innovations in NCD Management in the region.
The ASEAN NCD Network is an informal grouping of influential healthcare experts from around the region who are committed to working together to address the issue of NCDs. The Network aims to promote regional collaboration and cross-country sharing of ideas and best practices within the ASEAN region. A white paper on innovations in NCD management – which will examine case studies of innovative solutions to NCD management in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore – will be the first undertaking of the ASEAN NCD Network. Both the network and white paper are initiatives supported by Philips.
The formation of the network is organized in conjunction with World Health Day which is celebrated on April 7th, to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Day and this year the theme focuses on a NCD, which is high blood pressure.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), NCDs are the biggest cause of death worldwide, causing more than 36 million deaths in 2008. In effect, two of every three deaths in the world are on account of NCDs. SEA also faces an NCD epidemic, which causes 2.5 million deaths yearly and is responsible for 60 percent of deaths in the region. As the impact of NCDs increases, annual NCD deaths are projected to continue to rise worldwide.
"Southeast Asia is realizing the reality of the rapidly increasing issues and challenges that non-communicable diseases bring. A key outcome of the consultation we hosted last year saw the need for high-impact essential interventions to address the rising rate of non-communicable diseases. The ASEAN NCD Network is the first big step towards helping the countries within the region find plausible solutions," said Vincent Chan, General Manager, ASEAN, Philips Healthcare. "Some of the ideas and solutions shared through this network might be further developed into working policies and initiatives to help with the burden of non-communicable diseases on national healthcare systems."
In Singapore, NCDs are estimated to account for 79 percent of all deaths and are also known as the ‘disease of the 21st century’. Out of all NCDs present here, cardiovascular diseases account for the highest mortality at 33 percent. The Network aims to address the 4 main NCDs that are prevalent in the region - Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs), diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
The imperative for the ASEAN NCD Network initiative emerged from the ASEAN Healthcare Consultation held in 2012, a series of roundtables supported by Philips held in seven countries across the ASEAN region. These roundtables brought together prominent local healthcare experts and thought leaders to discuss the vast challenges faced in managing NCDs in each country. The Network aims to address the scourge of NCDs by sharing best practices, fostering collaboration, and thereby co-creating solutions to enact real change on the ground in each country and in the region.
Philips provides further support to the initiative by developing an online digital platform for the ASEAN NCD Network of experts to work together. Over time, the platform is expected to develop into a much-needed repository of ASEAN-specific NCD data, and feature case studies of exemplary NCD innovations around the region. In spite of the diversity in each country’s experience with NCDs, there are commonalities that can serve as lessons for all countries that will help shape the continuum of care approach in addressing main NCD diseases.
Both the White Paper on Innovations in NCD Management in ASEAN and the ASEAN NCD Network digital platform are being launched today.
The White Paper is being led by Dr. Jeremy Lim, in collaboration with a Southeast Asia wide network of in-country experts.
"Every ASEAN country is grappling with the challenges of effectively managing the non-communicable diseases burden. There are pockets of excellence in every country, even the ones with the least economic resources. Our hope through this White Paper is to analyze these gems, identify commonalities applicable to a wider context, and inform policy makers and healthcare providers across ASEAN. The NCDs are a collective challenge for ASEAN and we need to work together and learn from each other,” said Dr. Jeremy Lim.