Remarkable Women Speak Up

Remarkable Women Speak Up

On March 8th, 2011, we celebrated both the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the first anniversary of Arogya World by collecting quotes from remarkable women. Throughout the rest of the year, we will be featuring these inspiring messages on our website to raise the profile of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which cause more than 60% of deaths globally.

Making NCD’s A Priority For Women’s Health And Development

A report from the NCD Alliance

International Women’s Day: Catalyst for a Healthier Future

A Huffington Post op-ed by Nalini Saligram and Jill Sheffield expressing a sincere hope that 2011 will be a year of action and change. This September, the UN is holding a summit to evaluate the global impact of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory ailments that threaten the lives of millions around the world, marking an unprecedented opportunity to help rally the world in the fight against NCDs.

We invite you to submit your thoughts on the role of women in the fight against NCDs, and share this page and these uplifting messages with a remarkable woman in your life.

We turn to women, mothers, sisters and girlfriends for support and advice whenever something ails us.  Women are still the dominant decision makers in both healthcare and diet choices being made.  We must convert our ability to influence these choices to promote behaviors that will impact the spread of NCDs. — Tamar Howson, Consultant, HBA’s Woman of the Year 1999 – New York

When I travel in poor countries I am so often struck by the fact that women care for themselves last.  I met a woman in Zambia who told me, ‘Cancer killed my mother and will probably kill me.’  In fact, she was gone by my next visit, never seeking treatment for her symptoms because she had simply accepted the disease as her death sentence. — Dale Hanson Bourke, President, Publishing Directions Inc. – Washington, DC

Diabetes, heart disease, cancer – these conditions often demand long-term, constant care. Women get these diseases, as do men, but women more often than not also provide the care. Women need help coping with these multiple burdens. — Froma Harrop, Editorial Columnist, The Providence Journal – Providence, RI

My mother is a cancer survivor, and her mother wasn’t so lucky – this is a battle for our own lives. When I wonder if we can make a difference, I look at my daughter and know that – quite simply – we must. Working together, we can ensure that 2011 is a turning point in the fight against NCDs. — Thea Joselow, Arogya World – Bethesda, MD

Women DO Deliver.  Their well-being determines a country’s well-being.  Women deliver enormous social and economic benefits for their families, communities and nations.  Investing to improve the health of girls and women, reduce maternal ill-health, death and morbidities (and achieving MDG 5) is the right thing to do.  It is also sound economics.  Invest in Women.  It Pays! — Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver – New York, NY

Non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are women’s issues precisely because the vast majority of research and prevention dollars focus on men who suffer from these conditions.  Women need to speak up and demand that the research and prevention communities design and deliver disease interventions for the specific physiology and behavioral factors of women. — Amanda Goltz, Health Care Executive – San Francisco, CA

Healthy Women create a healthy world. — Patricia Weeks, Weeks Consulting, LLC – Garnet Valley, PA

Behind every man and family is a woman.  Behind every woman is a circle of women friends and family.  We share, comfort, laugh and reach out to make one another’s lives better.  The world is getting smaller and it should be effortless for us to reach women in developing countries to encourage and share our knowledge of healthy living so they can share with their circle of friends and we can help make their lives better.   — Pamela Yih, President, Pamela Y-F Yih, Inc. Langhorne, PA

Women have a special voice.  It is loud.  I have a loud voice and I use it to encourage my mother, my sisters, my female friends and colleagues to be aware of their health issues.  Some family members and friends have struggled with NCDs – some have lost the battle, but many are winning it!  I use my voice to encourage them to take care of themselves and seek the proper diagnosis and treatment.  Help promote good health for all of your loved ones; use your voice…loudly. — Rhonda Yve Gilbert, President, President, R Y Gilbert Associates, Ltd. – Maple Glen, PA

According to the World Health Organization, ischemic heart disease and stroke are the leading killers of women globally. Heightened awareness and a sense of urgency by women and their physicians could change this. Prevention is key. The major cardiovascular risk factors for women are well known. Most can be either eliminated or controlled, such as smoking, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. Women at particularly high risk can be identified and provided with more intensive preventative care. But education is essential for progress. — Carol S. Maskin, M.D, Cardiologist – New York, NY

As women, we are focused on caring for others, and forget about ourselves.  We forget that NCDs can be silent killers for women.  Let’s join forces together in taking care of ourselves and in fighting NCDs together. — Carolyn Kong, President, Kong Strategic Partners LLC – Whitehouse Station, NJ

NCDs are a women’s issue because, first, women are equally or more at risk from most chronic diseases than men. Second, because women are primary care-givers and are responsible for their families’ health and nutrition. So they are the gatekeepers of everyone’s health. Third, NCDs are a cause and a consequence of poverty and women and children suffer most. — Rachel Nugent, Deputy Director, Global Health, Center for Global Development – Washington, DC

I would hate to see developing countries repeat the costly mistakes we have made in the US, allowing its people to become less healthy by de facto neglect–becoming less active, having common default choices be unhealthy foods, creating communities that are not safe and walkable, thus creating generations of men, women and now children who have progressive obesity and increasing incidence of diabetes. — Carol Teutsch, MD, Endocrinologist – Pennsylvania

Eat healthy, exercise and be a role model for the family. Kids imitate their parents, so invest in primary prevention of NCDs and reap rich dividends! — Dr. Ranjani Harish, CDE, Ph.D, Head – Translational Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation – Chennai, India

NCDs diminish the lives and the vitality of women and those we love. — Meryle J. Melnicoff, Ph.D. Director, Business Development, The Wistar Institute – Philadelphia, PA

Knowledge of how to prevent chronic, non-communicable diseases: another opportunity for women to summon courage and act to enrich our own lives and those of our families worldwide. — Therese Flaherty, Ph.D., Philadelphia, PA

Women make most of the healthcare decisions for themselves and their families around the world.  The more knowledgeable women are about these disease, how to prevent them and how to treat them, the better the long- term outlook will be for their children, their community and their country. — Charlotte Sibley, President, Charlotte E. Sibley Associates, LLC, and HBA’s Woman of the Year 2008 – Berwyn, PA

Much more needs to be done to elevate NCDs on the public health agenda in low and middle income countries. More information, education and tools are critical to helping women identify and protect themselves and their families to against the onset of disease as well as complications arising from NCDs – women are our best hope of arresting this quiet killer. — Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Managing Director, FSG – Mumbai, India

Women have tremendous power.  By controlling what their children eat and how active they are, they quite simply can change the course of chronic disease for future generations.  An important message women must teach their children is that chronic disease is not inevitable just because parents or relatives suffer. 80% of heart disease and diabetes, and 40% of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle changes, and it is our responsibility to try to live a healthy life to prevent these serious diseases.  I cant wait to see the public health impact when the power of women is unleashed in support of NCDs!    — Nalini Saligram, CEO, Arogya World – Bryn Mawr, PA

In my role as the mother of a school-age child, I am constantly reminded by the regular colds that kids spread how important health and healthcare are to all families. My daughter also participates in Girl Scouts, and I’m so pleased to see their emphasis on taking care of yourself and empowering girls around health and environmental issues. In my role as a nonprofit leader, I am looking for new ways to drive investor interest in supporting and financing community health centers, which are so important in the promotion of preventive care. — Lisa Hall, President & CEO, Calvert Foundation – Bethesda, MD

NCDs exact a heavy toll on the health of women worldwide. Moreover, dealing with the burden of NCDs within families falls heavily on women, who tend to be primary intergenerational caregivers and healthcare decision makers in families around the world. It’s also important to point out that the costs of NCDs, estimated in excess of $1 trillion in the United States alone, soak up investments that might otherwise go to advancing the status and education of women around the world. — Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer, and HBA’s Woman of the Year 2011

Heal Thyself. Every woman should learn about, and follow, common-sense advice on diet, exercise, smoking cessation and prevention, and regular medical check-ups—and then set the example for her friends and families. Because, let’s face it, when it comes to better health…if women don’t do it, it won’t get done. — Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer, and HBA’s Woman of the Year 2011

Women aren’t just caregivers, they are problem solvers. To truly make an impact on the growing burden of chronic disease, we need to listen to the stories of women who face and overcome these challenges head-on, every day. — Priscilla VanderVeer, Senior Associate, APCO Worldwide – Washington, DC

We need to take care of ourselves so we can continue to take care of those we love. I know that I’ve been guilty of putting off screening for breast cancer or skipping my exercise class to sleep in. Join me in making a commitment to yourself to decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. — Mary Windle, PharmD, Chief Editor, Medscape Drug Reference – Omaha, Nebraska

Chronic disease has been our family tradition – sadly taking the life of my dad and father-in-law prematurely and now creating pain and suffering for my brother, my mother-in-law, and my two sisters-in-law along with many other family members. As a global community committed to reducing the burden of chronic disease, we can break this cycle and bring more joy and vitality to families around the world. — Linda M. Distlerath, PhD, JD, Senior Vice President, APCO Worldwide – Washington, DC

The discussions at the UN Women’s Conference around NCDs vividly recognize the need to bring to light the impact of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes, and cancer on families – and women specifically as key decision-makers, educators, and care-takers globally. As the world’s number one killer for women, educating and empowering women in communities about non-communicable diseases is essential to leading effective prevention, detection, and treatment programs worldwide. — Emily Ewell, Diabetes Consultant, Deloitte Consulting and Project HOPE – San Francisco, CA