On January 10, 2022, Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University, together with Siriraj Nurses’ Alumni Association, and the Division of Nursing, Siriraj Hospital, jointly organized the International Conference "Challenges in NCDs Management to Achieve the SDGs in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond" which was held between January 10-11, 2022, via an online system.
Professor Banchong Mahaisavariya, M.D., President of Mahidol University, presided over the opening remarks at the Conference, and Associate Professor Dr. Yajai Sitthimongkol, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing Mahidol University, gave a welcome speech.
Professor Banchong said that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the major causes of death for people around the world, especially in the current situation. The COVID-19 outbreak has created complexity and challenges for health care providers in managing NCDs. In order to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is Mahidol University's key driving policy, healthcare providers, especially the nursing profession, are critical in managing to reduce disease severity and number of people with non-communicable diseases. Organizing this International Conference is a strong collaboration with national and international organizations to share knowledge on NCDs management and control. This will become a powerful tool in moving towards the goals set by Mahidol University.
Associate Professor Dr. Yajai addressed that the conference was initiated from the World Health Organization's announcement that non-communicable diseases are now the leading cause of death worldwide, with three-quarters of them found in the population of low- and middle-income developing countries, including Thailand. There are approximately 14 million Thai people suffering from NCDs and up to 300,000 deaths per year. NCDs have long-term effects on health and premature mortality. We, therefore, need to increase our knowledge in order to manage the disease according to the goals of the World Health Organization and the United Nations, for example, the reduction of diabetes and high blood pressure by about 25 percent. Therefore, we need to pay a lot of attention to this issue. The Dean also said that the interesting thing is the situation of COVID-19. The emergence of the disease poses challenges in managing NCDs. Patients are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and their symptoms are more severe than usual. These patients are unable to make good food choices or exercise when they are locked down at home. Regarding this problem, the Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University together with Siriraj Nurses’ Alumni Association, and the Division of Nursing, Siriraj Hospital recognized the importance of this disease management.
“The goal of this Conference is to understand how the COVID-19 situation is changing disease management policy. We expect attendees to gain knowledge and apply it to their current work. I also want everyone to exchange knowledge between professions both within the country and abroad in order to create cooperation in solving the problems of non-communicable diseases in the future. This event is considered to be beneficial to all parties, not only nurses. Everyone who attended the meeting will be able to add and exchange knowledge in order to adapt to the ever-growing emerging diseases. We will prepare to cope and develop together to make people happy," said Associate Professor Dr. Yajai Sitthimongkol.
At the International Conference, keynote speakers with expertise are invited to share lectures and knowledge on various topics as below information.
Dr. Pem Namgyal, Director of Program Management (DPM) from WHO South-East Asia Region, gave a speech on “Build Back Better from COVID-19 Pandemic: Health Care System We Want”.
Professor Dr. Patricia Davidson, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Wollongong, presented about SDGs and connections to inequality and social equity on the topic “Beyond SDG 3: NCDs Management During COVID-19”.
Dr. Thaksaphon Thamarangsi, Director of International Health Policy Program (IHPP) Thailand, discussed the application of technology to improve outcomes in the NCDs patients care on the topic “Not Necessary Rocket Science: Technology Disruption and NCD Management”
Professor Dr. Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, USA, spoke on the topic “Hypertension management and vulnerable populations in COVID-19 Backdrop” to discuss hypertension control and review strategies to reduce ethnic and geographic disparities.
Professor Dr. Prasit Wattanapha, M.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, talked on the topic “Smart Hospital in Smart City for Urban Population” about how hospitals adapt and utilize technology to make the most of urban people become and health-conscious sustainably.