The Right to Health During Humanitarian Crises Should Include Noncommunicable Diseases

Estimates from the United Nations show that about 363 million individuals worldwide are affected by humanitarian crises driven by the climate crisis, increase conflict and fragility, and broadening inequality. In 2022, more than 108 million individuals were forced to flee their homes due to conflict.

While humanitarian crises such as those currently occurring in Gaza, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Ukraine may vary in scale and nature, they all share infrastructure demolition, displacement of the masses, and the disruption of services and supply chains.

Healthcare facilities are also heavily impacted in times of conflict, particularly because they are directly targeted. Access to hospitals, health services and life-saving technologies and medicines is often impeded, with water and food shortages brought on by conflict, making things even worse.

With healthcare facilities threatened and supply chains severed, the management of noncommunicable diseases becomes harder. Noncommunicable illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular illness require essential drugs to ensure individuals can go about their daily lives normally.

To help ensure all who need healthcare receive it regardless of ongoing crises, emergency responses need to be more successful. This can only be done if strong partnerships between civil society and government are in place and if there are established models of care.

Some organizations have heeded this call to deliver care for noncommunicable diseases during humanitarian crises. Partnering for Change, a collaboration between the International Committee of the Red Cross, Novo Nordisk, the Danish Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, supports individuals living with hypertension and diabetes in humanitarian crises.

These bodies have also partnered with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in research initiatives focused on designing, assessing and improving models of care.

The Danish Red Cross has also been supporting Somalia’s biggest health-care provider, the Somali Red Crescent Society, in its efforts to include screening and management of hypertension, diabetes and asthma as well as psychosocial and mental-health support in existing health programs in the country. In addition, the Somali Red Crescent Society is working to increase awareness on noncommunicable disease risk factors through community health committees and community engagement.

While the delivery of integrated care services during humanitarian crises is still a work in progress, it remains clear that if universal health coverage is to be achieved, noncommunicable disease services must be incorporated into primary healthcare facilities and community services. This will help ensure that individuals living with these chronic illnesses can still access quality services during disruptions in care caused by conflict or disaster.

As companies such as Scinai Immunotherapeutics Ltd. (NASDAQ: SCNI) also progress with their efforts to develop immunotherapies against a number of infectious diseases, these treatments could also be an option for those in areas afflicted by humanitarian crises.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Scinai Immunotherapeutics Ltd. (NASDAQ: SCNI) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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