The NCD Alliance, a unique civil society network, uniting 2,000 organisations in more than 170 countries, dedicated to improving NCD prevention and control worldwide, will brief international media on COVID-19 and NCDs: Lessons learned from around the world on Wednesday. The media briefing will also provide an opportunity to discuss best practices and lessons learned so far in selected countries.
According to Alliance, the emerging evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic shows many intersections between COVID-19 and NCDs. “People living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) are more vulnerable to COVID-19, with a substantially higher risk of becoming severely ill or dying from the virus,” the Alliance informed.
People with COVID-19 infection and cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes are at least twice as likely to die, while smoking is especially deadly. Although the evidence base is clearly still in development, a recent study found that smokers have 14 times greater odds of developing COVID-associated pneumonia than non-smokers, the NCD Alliance pointed out.
Similarly, the Alliance stated, the people with comprised immune systems (ongoing cancer treatment, diabetes, COPD, people on steroid treatment, etc.) are at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and people living with three or more co-morbidities (hypertension, diabetes, COPD/asthma, TB, obesity, smokers) too are at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, the Alliance stated.
The NCD Alliance works on a global, regional and national level to bring a united civil society voice to the global campaign on NCDs together with strategic partners, including the WHO, the United Nations (UN) and governments.