Earlier this year we had the honour to manage the first Global NCD Forum on Children and Youth. Organised by the charity organization Friends of Cancer Patients, a charitable, volunteer-based foundation; operating as a specialized entity under the umbrella of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah and NCD Child a global multi-stakeholder coalition, championing the rights and needs of children, adolescents, and young people living with or at risk of developing non-communicable diseases.

The forum brought together a global audience for 2 days at Al Jawaher Reception and Conference Centre in Sharjah, to discuss prevention, treatment, and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the younger generation, with an emphasis on giving a voice to the younger generation.

In her keynote speech, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society, highlighted the five pillars in tackling this issue: specifically changing lifestyle, academia and research, pro-active social institutions, role of state organisations in creating awareness and palliative, medical and psychological care in providing field support to the cause.

In addition to the main stage, which hosted panel discussions, several seminars were held in purpose-built workshops with audio and visual solutions being provided across the board. Coffee break and lunch areas were created in a way to encourage delegates to interact with one another and inspire them to raise topics discussed during the sessions.

A wall where delegates were able to give a motivational message on a hand print lined the walk ways and collected messages such as “Hands up to NCDs” and “We will keep up the fight”. The event closed on 26th March with a mission for every individual who attended the forum to take action on their learnings and raise the topic of NCD's in children within their own country and community.