This past November, You’re the Cure advocate and stroke survivor, Michelle Ballasiotes, had the privilege of attending the Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance Global Forum in Sharjah, UAE. Michelle represented the AHA/ASA and her mom joined her on this experience of a lifetime. Over the next few weeks we will be posting a multi-part series of Michelle’s reflections on the trip. Many thanks to Michelle for writing about her experience and allowing us to share it on the blog! Check back next week to read more about Michelle’s trip! Missed a week? You can find the earlier posts about her trip here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Sun. Nov. 15th, Afternoon:
Last week I recounted our last morning sessions of the Forum, join me this week as I recount our final session and share my final thoughts about the event. Next week join me as I recount some touring mom and I did after the Forum ended!
We had lunch with speakers on the Power of Partnerships followed by a roundtable session with the organizations coming up with a plan of action for the future. We discussed how the national, regional, and global levels can work together going forward. There was an official closing with the declaration presented to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. She was very proud of what we accomplished and invited the NCD Alliance back to Sharjah in 2017.
Overall, my favorite thing about the trip was being able to network with so many other youth leaders. We were all from different countries and advocating for different issues, but we were all there for a common purpose: to collaborate and strengthen our own local, regional and national advocacy impact for NCDs. One of the objectives of the Non-Communicable Diseases Global forum was to provide important platforms to be able to advocate for improved coverage of NCD interventions, patient empowerment and stronger health systems within each of the countries. I think we accomplished this. In talking with many of the other delegates, we are all united and committed to doing our part to accelerate action and increase accountability to prevent and reduce deaths, disability, stigma and discrimination caused by NCDs.
My mom and I extended our stay in the area and headed to Dubai on Sunday evening.
Want to keep up with Michelle and our other advocates? Join our You’re the Cure network to get updates on all of the work that we are doing around the state!