People living with NCDs are powerful agents of change, capable of leveraging their experiences to reach others, calling for health equity and building a public narrative to accelerate action on NCDs. Aiming to showcase the lives of these individuals, NCD Alliance, with the support of the Ghana NCD Alliance and Healthy India Alliance, and in partnership with Access Accelerated, has produced two micro-films that follow the journeys of two powerful advocates from India and Ghana.
The documentaries are part of the NCD Alliance’s Our Views Our Voices initiative to break down stigma and discrimination, equipping people living with NCDs with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to be leaders and active players in the response to these diseases.
The objectives of this project are:
● To demonstrate the value and insights of people living with NCDs and promote the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs.
● To highlight the importance of lived experiences in calling for people-centred approaches to achieving Universal Health Coverage.
● To provide a platform to highlight the value of meaningful involvement of people living in the NCD response.
Jyostna Govil, India
Jyostna Govil’s lifelong experience of caring for people living with NCDs has taken many forms. Following her father’s diagnosis with an inoperable stomach cancer 35 years ago, she helped to build the Indian Cancer Society in New Delhi and began dedicating her life to cancer screening, awareness, and patient support. In 2013, Jyotsna’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and she spent 6 years caring for him. Today, she works tirelessly with the Healthy India Alliance to help break down stigma and discrimination surrounding NCD treatment and care and to bring her intimate insights of dealing with comorbidities to the field of NCDs.
Universal Health Coverage packages must address the needs of people living with multiple chronic conditions in order to be comprehensive and people-centred.
Watch Jyotsna’s video here.
Christopher Agbega, Ghana
Music and social justice have been part of Christopher Agbega’s life since he was a young boy. Following his diagnosis with Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy at the age of 16, his life changed drastically. Rather than giving in to this debilitating auto-immune disease, Christopher became an advocate for all people living with NCDs. As a peer trainer with ShareCare Ghana and the Ghana Noncommunicable Disease Alliance, he shares his lived experiences with other people living with NCDs, encouraging and inspiring them to share their own and raise awareness on NCDs. A vital part of the team that developed the Ghana Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, Christopher is unwavering in his belief that health equity– and music – for all, are at the heart of positive change.
No measure of technical knowledge can replace the insight of the lived experience.
Watch Chris’ video here.