Non-communicable Disease (NCD) Workgroup – International Society for Disease Surveillance


The complex and multiple determinants of NCDs require a trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral approach for their management. The NCD work-group will be a multifaceted focused group that will provide opportunities to professionals with a common interest in NCDs in developing innovative approaches to surveillance for NCDs. The goals of the ISDS NCD Workgroup are to see problem spaces in NCDs surveillance and possible solutions in a new light; interact with associates across nations and sectors with similar interests; identify new opportunities for research collaborations; accomplish together what could not be achieved alone, and turn ideas into action.

Committee Leadership


Nadia Waheed, MD, MPH
Dr. Nadia Khalida Waheed is a fellowship-trained specialist in retinal diseases and has performed thousands of surgical procedures to treat retinaldetachments, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, macular holes and epiretinal membranes.  She also has a special interest in hereditary retinal disorders. Dr. Waheed practices medical and surgical care for patients with retinal diseases.  She is an active staff member of the New England Eye Center at Tufts University.  

3e624d13-d1dd-49f7-8c48-b8c60c05bb0c-9266167Elissa R. Weitzman, ScD, MSc
Elissa R. Weitzman, ScD, MSc, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is pioneering new approaches to population health research with a focus on behavioral health and chronic illness problems, including among pediatric cohorts. She leads multiple investigations in which consented patients and consumers participate in health research through online social network and personally controlled health record platforms.


Giridhara Babu, PhD, MBBS, MPH

Giridhara worked with World Health Organization for six years, during which he led the efforts in stopping polio transmission in the state of Karnataka. He initiated advocacy for Measles surveillance in Karnataka leading to constitution of Multi Year Plan (MYP) for Measles elimination in India. Giridhara completed his MPH and PhD degrees from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with doctoral research exploring the association of Job stress and Hypertension. As a step in exploring the life course epidemiology of NCDs, he is awarded intermediate fellowship of Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance to extend this cohort. He has led the team in developing the guidelines for health professionals for prevention and management of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Karnataka state. He is focused to continue the work on life course epidemiology by identifying the early markers, and thereby contributes in prevention and management of NCDs.  His efforts are underway to collate evidence from all over the world including expanding the birth cohort to multiple centres in understanding the role played by parenteral milieu on infants and subsequent development of NCDs. 

ISDS Board of Directors Liasion:Vivek Singh, MBBS, MPH

Dr. Singh is a public health specialist working as an assistant professor at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)’s Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) at Hyderabad. He received his MBBS degree from Government Medical College in Nagpur, MH, India and his MPH degree from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Dr. Singh has worked as a medical officer for surveillance with the National Polio Surveillance Program of World Health Organization (WHO), providing leadership and technical support to the health system in various states in India. At PHFI, Dr. Singh is involved in academics; research; practice and consulting. He is engaged in the development and delivery of public health training programs using competency based approaches. He leads the training programs on field epidemiology; public health surveillance; public health emergency preparedness; and public health program management at the institute.

For more information, see: NCDwg.onepager.02022015.pdf

Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) Key Facts:

NCDs account for 63% of all deaths globally: NCDs, primarily CVD, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are responsible for 63% of all deaths worldwide. 80% of NCDs deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. CVD accounts for nearly half of NCD-related deaths: An estimated 17.5 million people died worldwide from CVDs in 2012, representing 31% of all deaths globally. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke. NCDs are not only a health problem but a development challenge as well: NCDs force many people into, or entrench them in poverty due to catastrophic expenditures for treatment. They also have a large impact on undercutting productivity. According to World Economic Forum, over the next 20 years, NCDs will cost more than US$ 30 trillion, representing 48% of global GDP, and pushing millions of people below the poverty line. Eliminating major risks could prevent most NCDs: If the major risk factors for NCDs – namely: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol – were eliminated, about three-quarters of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can be prevented; and 40% of cancer can be prevented.

Key facts from the World Health Organization.


Prevention and Control of NCDs, India: Status and Strategies, 2003

Chronic Disease Epidemiology Orientation Manual: A Resource for Applied Epidemiologists

Assessing national capacity for the prevention and control of NCD’s: Report of the 2010 Global survey

NCD Country Profiles, 2011

WHO-Global Action Plan for prevention and control of NCDs, 2013-2020

WHO-Global Status Report on NCDs, 2014

Report of the first dialogue convened by the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs, April 2015

Transforming the world: Promoting healthy lifestyles and NCDs control


Thank you MPS, but what are you smoking? – Financial Express
ISDS Launches Trans-disciplinary NCD Workgroup – Financial Express
First-of-its-kind ‘Trans-Disciplinary Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Workgroup for Clinical, Academic, and Public Health Professionals’ Launched in India by the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) – The Telegraph
WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of NCDs (WHO GCM/NCD)