AstraZeneca Young Health Programme

Partnering with Unicef to prevent non-communicable diseases among young people

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Why we’re working together

UNICEF and the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme are partnering to raise awareness of the risks and effects of non- communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, preventable cancers and mental health conditions among young people and key decision-makers. Today, countries are struggling to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – the number one cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that 70% of premature deaths from NCDs can be linked back to behaviours that first appear in adolescents.  Similarly, the World Economic Forum has predicted that NCDs will cost developing economies more than $47 trillion in lost productivity and wages over the next 10 years .

We believe in the power of young people to change the trajectory of the staggering burden of disease we face today, all over the world. Improving the health outcomes of future generations is a critical part of developing strong and stable healthcare systems, which in turn support sustainable markets and the economic prosperity of nations.” Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.

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What we’re doing

Working together this partnership will galvanise a global advocacy movement to reach more than 5 million young people, train 1,000 youth advocates, and influence a minimum of 12 policies or laws around the world over the next six years. Our aim is to catalyse a global advocacy movement led by, and for, young people aged 10-24, to ensure that preventing NCDs is a government priority around the world, and to enable young people to live healthy lifestyles.

As part of our partnership, we will be working in the following accelerator countries: Brazil,  South Africa, Angola Indonesia, Belize, and Jamaica. Additional countries will be added in subsequent years.

The Young Health Programme

The partnership follows the announcement that AstraZeneca will continue to fund its Young Health Programme to 2025 with an overall commitment of $35 million (£28m).

Since 2010 the Young Health Programme has reached over three million young people, through a mix of programmes, advocacy and research activities designed to increase awareness and understanding of NCD prevention. These have ranged over 24 countries and six continents from Australia to Zambia.

The health and futures of young people must not be compromised by unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours. I am happy that UNICEF is joining a coalition of committed partners with the support of AstraZeneca to bring attention to NCDs which are now the world’s biggest killers.”
Gary Stahl, Director, UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnerships.

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