Aga Khan University Hosts Conference on NCDs

Press Release
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Aga Khan University Hosts Conference on NCDs

The Aga Khan University’s Department of Community Health Sciences (CHS) is bringing together the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for a three-day conference on adolescent health. The focus? Preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in young people.

The conference, titled “Healthy Futures: Preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Young Hearts and Minds,” will address critical issues like screen time, obesity, mental health, and unhealthy lifestyles. Experts from various fields will discuss how to implement large-scale solutions to counter these trends.

This age group is particularly vulnerable to NCDs, which account for over half of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and 20% of deaths among those aged 10-19. The conference aims to equip parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals with the knowledge to empower young people to make healthy choices.

“Encouraging young people to live a healthy and active lifestyle requires massive efforts,” said Dr. Fouzia Khan, Chief Guest and Chief Executive Advisor for Sindh’s School Education Department. “Acknowledging the current state of our youth is the first step towards a better future.”

The conference includes research presentations, discussions, and activities designed to encourage dialogue among experts, healthcare professionals, and teachers. It also features informative exhibits for young people to learn about NCDs and how to improve their health.

With NCDs being a leading cause of death for adolescents in Pakistan, UNICEF’s Abdullah A. Fadil stressed the urgency of prioritizing youth health. “There is an urgent need for parents, caregivers, and young people themselves to prioritize physical and mental health,” he said.

The conference emphasizes that preventing NCDs requires a multi-pronged approach, including increased physical activity, healthy eating habits, and investment in mental health services. It also highlights the need to address climate change and ensure access to public spaces.

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