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Media Alert: Expert Available to Comment on Need for Attention to Chronic Diseases During COVID-19 Pandemic

Noncommunicable disease advocacy week highlights increased need for attention to chronic illnesses during pandemic

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. –  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global population, research has shown that chronic diseases, or noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), are a significant risk factor for severe health consequences -- including hospitalization or death -- when paired with COVID-19. These chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes, are the leading cause of death worldwide and more than 80% of deaths from NCDs occur in low-and-middle-income countries.

Rachel Nugent, Ph.D., vice president and director of RTI’s Global Center for NCDs, is available to speak about NCDs and the part they play in escalating the COVID-19 pandemic. She can speak to the importance of NCD detection and prevention and the need for continued access to NCD treatment services during and after the pandemic. Dr. Nugent has more than 30 years of experience in global development as a researcher, practitioner, and policy advisor to governments. 

A dedicated focus on implementing NCD policies and programs and ensuring plans are in place to support people living with NCDs are an important tool in reducing hospitalization rates and mortality from COVID-19 and building resilience against future pandemics.

The Center works with more than 40 countries around the world, partnering with governments, non-governmental organizations, private foundations, and multilateral organizations to address NCDs in all stages by designing, implementing and evaluating policy, prevention, and treatment interventions. RTI’s NCD Center recently released two studies on the part NCDs have played in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • NCDs and how they increase vulnerability to COVID-19 in urban areas: click here
  • Impact of obesity on COVID-19: click here. 

For more information or to set up an interview, contact news@rti.org