CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Professor Glenda Gray assumes office as the elected chair to the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases(GACD), effective 1 April 2017.
GACD is a collection of the world’s largest public health research funding agencies which fund joint programmes into lifestyle related or chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain cancers, lung diseases and mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries. It is the first collaboration of major research funding agencies to specifically address chronic non-communicable diseases.
“This position is about more than just influencing the global research and development agenda for non-communicable diseases. We are at a juncture when our decisions will determine the extent to which we can take non-communicable disease interventions to scale”, says Professor Gray. “Ultimately each intervention must introduce resolve and change lives”, Gray concluded.
The announcement of Gray assuming office at the helm of the GACD follows the SAMRC’s recent meeting at National Parliament when a presentation of the Second National Burden of Disease Study revealed that non-communicable diseases are the leading group of causes resulting in death in South Africa accounting for almost 40% of total deaths and 1 in 3 deaths before the age of 60 years.
Professor Gray succeeds Professor Alain Beaudet and will commence her tenure effective 1 April 2017 that is set to conclude at the end of the 2018 calendar year.