Comment: Rebranding disease to launch global change

Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Alessandro R Demaio

A little over a year ago, a group of young people – connected by a passion for addressing the leading cause of global deaths – had an idea. Re-brand the way we perceive a group of conditions, and the narrative we collectively conjure when hearing their name – Non-Communicable Diseases. Challenge the current, misguided perception that diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancers are simply the result of poor choices and laziness, and instead use inspiring stories from young health advocates to paint an accurate global and local picture.

Did you know that 80% of NCDs occur in the world’s poorest nations? Acting as a poverty-cycle catalyst.Rather than diseases of rich, old, fat, lazy, American men – that these are in fact diseases largely resulting in and from poverty, social inequality and poor social determinants of health. Rewrite the global narrative on these diseases without the jargon or biomedical focus and connect a new generation of thinkers to rally and overcome the single biggest killer of our time.

But more than this, move beyond blame altogether. Look past the pessimism and negativity. You see, to many, this may seem like one of the largest challenges of our century. A disease burden which threatens to undo the health and development progress of the last one-hundred years, and on a scale that could well cripple not only our national health budget – but the budgets of some of the poorest nations globally.

Source: SBS (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health