2014 World Cancer Congress

10,000 women raise their voices in the fight against NCDs (16098)

Nalini Saligram 1 , Sally Cowal 2 , Navami Naik 2
  1. Arogya World, Naperville, IL, USA
  2. American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA

Background and Context:

 Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs - including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung diseases - are recognized as one of the greatest health and development challenges of the century.  They are largely preventable through lifestyle change.  Though NCDs are the #1 of killer of women, data on women’s views on NCDs are scarce. 



Our aim is to capture the voices of women from around the world on the impact of NCDs on their lives, and use the data to move governments to action. 



 Arogya World (www.arogyaworld.org), a global health non-profit, made a commitment at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, together with partners Novartis, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, American Cancer Society, UNICEF, PSI, Abt SRBI and Jana, to implement a global 10,000 women’s survey on NCDs. 

We implemented the quantitative survey in 1H2014 among 1,000 women from 10 low, middle and high-income countries (Kenya, Afghanistan, Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico, US, UK), using mostly mobile and web technologies. We also did videos and gathered women’s perspectives on NCDs, their impact on families, and risk factors.

Programme/Policy Process:

 In 2014, as the world takes stock of the progress made against NCDs, we will launch the survey results to multiple stakeholders – ministers, policy makers, public health thought-leaders, civil society and media. We will urge policymakers to implement women-centered NCD prevention programs and empower women to steer their families towards healthy living.  We believe this initiative will influence the global dialogue on NCDs in a post-2015 world. 


Outcomes/What was learned:

First results show that the pain of NCDs is most felt in developing countries, including financial pain. Being overweight, not getting enough exercise and unhealthy diets are the most important health issues to women in all countries surveyed. The report will be circulated at major conferences.