In 2013, Arogya World committed to implement a quantitative survey of 10,000 women in 10 countries, to gather women's unique perspectives on the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on their lives. Informed by the Global Burden of Disease Report, survey questions will probe how women and their families live and cope with NCDs. Women will be selected at random from among mobile phone/internet users in both developed and developing countries. In addition, face-to-face interviews will be conducted with a few women in each country to gather personal stories about the impact of NCDs, quotes, photos and video footage.
A rich report with quantitative data, analysis and insights about women's health concerns will be produced and shared with leaders at the United Nations, as well as policymakers focused on women's issues and NCDs in all 10 countries. In addition, Arogya World will make an Every Woman, Every Child commitment, leveraging that and the CGI platform to inform and influence governments.
The survey, report and advocacy will establish NCDs as a women's issue, and build broad-based evidence which can inform future action. By highlighting how NCDs cut across cultures and affect families everywhere, the survey will put a human face on NCDs, framing it as a real issue. This commitment will use the voices of women to move policymakers to action.
Arogya World brings credibility as a prior CGI Commitment maker that has delivered on promises made, and a proven ability to implement large programs/partnerships (mDiabetes) and bold, innovative public health programs.
The first phase of this commitment will be devoted to the development of the survey questionnaire to be used with all 10,000 women, from September to November of 2013. Arogya World's commitment partner, Abt SRI will assist with the development of the questionnaire, as will other commitment partners. In January of 2014 Arogya World will use web and mobile technologies to reach 10,000 women in 10 countries with the finalized survey questionnaire. The 10 target countries were chosen to include 2 developed countries (US, UK), 6 G20 emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico) and 2 lower-income countries (Afghanistan, Uganda).
The women in the United States and United Kingdom will be reached by Abt SRBI using the internet. The women in all the other countries will be reached by another commitment partner, Jana on their cell phones and incentivized to complete the survey with free talk time. The women will be randomly selected and will reflect a demographic representation of female mobile and internet users in each country.
Toward the end of 2013, in-person interviews will be conducted with a few women in each country to gather personal stories of women tackling NCDs. Partner organizations and others in the NCD community will be approached to gather these stories and the video, photos, and quotes as needed. Video segments will be edited, survey results analyzed, and a report written between February and April of 2014.
During April, May, and June of 2014 results will be released at a press event in New York or Washington DC and reports disseminated to the United Nations and various national government leaders. A cover letter from prominent public health leaders will accompany the reports to the UN, and global and in-country policy leaders. Arogya World and its partners will continue with post-survey advocacy from July 2014 throughout the length of the commitment.
The UN's September 2011 Political Declaration called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) one of the biggest health and development challenges of the 21st century. NCDs, which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung diseases, cause 2 out of every 3 deaths in the world, killing more than six times the number of people who die from HIV, TB and Malaria combined. The 2011 UN High Level Meeting gave NCDs well-deserved political weight and provided a platform for world leaders to adopt measurable goals and targets to address the issue. Still, many national NCD plans are not in place and some believe the issue is under-addressed by the Post-2015 agenda. More advocacy is required to call attention to NCDs on the global stage and at the country level.
NCDs are a women's issue: they are the #1 cause of death for women, according to the NCD-Alliance, killing 18 million women each year, a staggering 50,000 every day. And the World Heart Federation says that cardiovascular diseases are the biggest killer of women globally, killing 8.6 million women each year.
In developing countries, women develop chronic lung disease every year, often as a result of cooking over open fires in poorly ventilated spaces. Nearly 3 billion people in the developing world cook food in this way. 4 million premature deaths occur every year due to smoke exposure from these methods. Women and children are the most affected, according to the Clean Cook Stoves Initiative. Disease and death due to everyday cooking? Surely that is an outrage. Breast cancer and gestational diabetes uniquely affect women. NCDs also affect women as caregivers. When women must quit work to provide care, families and communities suffer financially.
Women are a powerful solution in the fight against NCDs. In partnership with like-minded organizations, Arogya World is committed to using the voices of women to urge countries to act and invest in prevention.