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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 145-146

Pathways to noncommunicable disease prevention through media engagement: A commentary on world noncommunicable disease congress 2017

Program Coordinator, Child Protection Medical Network, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, New Delhi Office, India

Date of Web Publication22-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Vijayluxmi Bose
2B, Pocket 4, Mayur Vihar Phase 1, New Delhi - 110 091
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_54_17

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How to cite this article:
Bose V. Pathways to noncommunicable disease prevention through media engagement: A commentary on world noncommunicable disease congress 2017. Int J Non-Commun Dis 2017;2:145-6

How to cite this URL:
Bose V. Pathways to noncommunicable disease prevention through media engagement: A commentary on world noncommunicable disease congress 2017. Int J Non-Commun Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 26];2:145-6. Available from: https://www.ijncd.org/text.asp?2017/2/4/145/225985

  Introduction Top

Engaged and well-informed media are essential channels for an effective response for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Continued dialogue and improved health literacy among journalists enable informed reporting on issues impacting the prevention and control of diseases and health promotion. Evidence-informed public and social media campaigns are other effective outcomes of sustained media engagement.[1]

  Wncd 2017 – Reflections on Media Interactions Top

Translating evidence to inform public campaigns through mass media and social media are forms of media engagement that facilitate prevention and control efforts. Thus, the program schedule of the First World NCD Congress (Jointly Organized by World NCD Federation, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh [PGIMER], Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India at Chandigarh, November 2017) offered a balanced mix of academic and health-promoting physical activity sessions, including an art exhibition at the venue. The Congress (referred to as such in brief) had a virtual presence through website and tweets; an application to facilitate delegates was developed and widely used.

Media engagement began with a Pre-Congress curtain-raiser event that highlighted the confluence of arts, media, and spirituality toward total health promotion. The Congress was positioned as a scientific event that would create awareness among the public and researchers across different fields. During the event, the role of lifestyle modifications and Indian system of living in prevention and control of NCDs was emphasized.

Continued interaction with reporters from the print media during the Congress revealed that they were very curious and interested in NCDs as a public health threat (particularly about classification of diseases). Their primary objective was news gathering through interaction with delegates − clinicians and public health specialists. The Hindi language press requested briefs in the regional language; while senior reporters from both language and English press were looking for research studies – preferably primary research – aligned to the Congress themes.

“Media has time and again asked doctors and researchers about their role in the prevention of NCDs. But I would like to convey this message to you that globally the role of media (print, broadcast and social media) has been recognized in spreading awareness about NCDs but also proactively preventing and controlling the diseases”. Prof. JS Thakur, Chair Organizing Committee and President World NCD Federation.

As a result of the interface, there were regular news stories in the print media.[1] Public health specialists and clinicians who had organized the Conference felt that media should keep up a continuous dialogue – “we need media as champions, we need media advocates at regional and local levels,” they opined. Since the PGIMER has high visibility, press was very much present in the plenary and technical sessions. As a result of the continuous media interface, some news stories on yoga, alternative therapies, and cancer appeared in the print media.[2] The “Chandigarh Call for Action on Sustainable Development in Combating Global Epidemic of Noncommunicable Diseases” was widely reported in the English and regional language press.

“Head Over Heels in Love with Yoga,” “Reclaiming health as real wealth,” and “Cancer to be made a notifiable disease in Chandigarh” appeared in newspapers regularly. However, the transition from event-based reporting to a two-way information exchange system emerged as a felt need during the Conference.

  New Vistas for Media Engagement Top

Forthcoming WNCDCs may look forward to continuous reportage (in the form of in-depth features, interviews, editorials/op-eds, and blogs). Upstream media advocacy (engaging senior management of newspapers and broadcast media) requires careful planning and sensitive implementation. Generating public interest in NCDs through social networking is both interesting and challenging work; hence, generating the right “pegs” and “story pitches” are important pre-conference preparatory activities.

Media planning should include features such as the development of a dedicated section of web page, with snippets of information of interest to the media, photo stories, research summaries, and good practice documents; virtual presentations and audio/video bites for broadcast media. Media briefs, scripts for Public Service Announcements on key themes, panel discussions, and talks as well as outlines for blogs and features also require translational research and careful preparation. Greater engagement of online media, radio, and television are achievable goals if a dedicated team of public health experts, clinicians, and health communication/social media experts are engaged in generation of a yearly WNCDC Media and Advocacy Plan.

Resource Persons/Contributors

Ms. Manju Wadwalkar, PRO, PGIMER, Chandigarh; Dr. Dheeraj Khurana, Professor Neurology, PGIMER, Chandigarh and Vice President, World NCD Federation; Dr. JS Thakur, Professor, School of Public Health, PDr. Nimrat Kaur, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

WHO, Global action plan for the prevention and control of Non-communicable diseases, 2013-2020. Availabe from: http://www.who.int/nmh/events/ncd_action_plan/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 Jan 01].  Back to cited text no. 1
Smith, Kirk R, “Disappointing that Swachh Bharat campaign is yet to focus on air pollution”. Hindustan Times, Chandigarh Edition, 2017.  Back to cited text no. 2


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