Women and Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa

15 October, 2020

Dear HIFA colleagues,

1. What is the scale and what are the key gendered concerns around NCDs and women in Africa?

2. Who are the key actors responding to the rise in NCDs in Africa?

3. How are these actors responding and are gender, equity and rights being considered in these responses?

4. What are the opportunities and challenges for African women’s organisations around engagement with NCD prevention and control and what are the ways to support greater engagement on links between NCDs and women’s rights?

These are the four questions addressed in a new report: Women and Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa: Mapping the scale, actors, and extent of rights-based work to address the impact of NCDs on African women.

The report is commissioned by the African Women’s Development Fund and written by HIFA member Johanna Riha, is Policy Director for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. www.appg-globalhealth.org.uk Twitter: @APPGGlobHealth

Below are selected extracts highlighting the importance of access to reliable, relevant healthcare information to prevent and manage NCDs.

'In terms of priorities for women-led organisations working on NCDs, more than 30 CSOs said raising awareness about NCDs among women and girls was a priority. This included sensitisation by providing information about how to prevent NCDs and known risk factors, raising awareness about healthy lifestyles including good nutrition, changing attitudes and behaviour through campaigns, as well as providing information about disease detection and where to access screening and medical support. Improving access to services was the second most reported priority...'


... Facilitate access to and creation of information related to NCD prevention and control for African women-led organisations currently working on NCDs as well as those not yet directly working on NCDs.

- Collate and publicize existing resources and tools, particularly focusing on material relevant to a women-led multisectoral response to NCDs in Africa.

- Support the development of locally relevant technical information, guidance on relevant policies, advocacy materials, and communication materials, especially those linking women’s rights and empowerment to NCD response.

- Contribute to changing the narrative around NCDs and African women’s rights through blogs and analyses by African women...'

The full report can be downloaded here:


Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org