City Living: The Deadly Cause of Non-Communicable Diseases

According to WHO, NCDs kill approximately 41 million people each year. Photo: Jose Martin-Ramirez/Unsplash.


Is city living killing us? What are the causes of NCDs and what does the city have to do with it? A panel of health professionals share their views and solutions on fighting non-communicable diseases at the 9th World Urban Forum. UTA DIETRICH, SUDHVIR SINGH and CHARLES EBIKEME discuss strategies for fighting NCDs.


On June 1st, 2018, The World Health Organization (WHO) published a fact sheet on Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs – non-contagious health conditions involving the heart and vascular systems, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and also diabetes.

The statistics are alarming; NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

As cities continue to grow worldwide, so does the demand for housing, food and other basic resources which takes its toll on the environment. Urbanisation also promotes a more sedentary lifestyle, increasing the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases such as heart attacks or stroke, diabetes, and cancer, creating a direct link to fatality.

On this episode we highlight the views and ideas of the panel of speakers at an event organised by the Center for Indonesian Medical Students’ Activities (CIMSA) and held at the 9th World Urban Forum, 2018.


“Pollution is a key contributor of NCDs…” – Uta Dietrich. Photo by Maya Tan


Uta Dietrich, senior programme manager at Think City makes several key points on the situation surrounding NCDs in Asia.


Dr. Sudhvir Singh, Policy director, EAT Foundation. Photo courtesy


Meanwhile, Dr. Sudhvir Singh, doctor of internal medicine and Policy Director for EAT, a Foundation based in Scandinavia advocates bringing the public health and environmental sustainability sectors together to design and implement global food system solutions.


“It’s important to know how to talk to policy-makers, using health as a point of leverage…” – Dr. Charles Ebikeme. Photo: International Council for Science


Dr. Charles Ebikeme, a former biomedical scientist, and currently Science Officer at the International Council for Science (ICSU) tells us about the burden faced by health workers in facing the challenges of fighting NCDs and how to talk to policy-makers using health as a point of leverage.

While the panel involved other speakers, this podcast has been produced with the consent of Uta Dietrich, Sudhvir Singh and Charles Ebikeme.




This podcast was published originally under the now-defunct Think City Channel.

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