By the SIDS, for the SIDS: Next decade of action on NCDs and mental health

World Health Organization


By the SIDS, for the SIDS: Next decade of action on NCDs and mental health


People living in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a disproportionate risk of dying prematurely from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and a high burden of mental health conditions. SIDS have emphasized the need for deliberate action on NCDs and mental health in the 2007 Port of Spain Declaration, 2014 SAMOA pathway, and recently the 2023 Bridgetown Declaration on NCDs and mental health. The call is clear: bold action is needed “by the SIDS, and for the SIDS” to accelerate progress towards achieving SDG target 3.4 for a one third reduction in premature mortality from NCDs and for the promotion of mental health and well-being, by 2030. 

SIDS Member States are already championing the cause. Countries are sharing their specific commitments to implement cost-effective interventions (including WHO “best buys”) to accelerate progress on NCDs, mental health, their risk factors and environmental action, in line with national priorities, through an online SIDS commitment page.

However, moving from commitment to action is a shared journey. The next decade of progress on NCDs and mental health will require SIDS-specific tailored solutions, strategic partnerships and investment to ensure sustained impact. For instance, in the Caribbean, PAHO is launching the Better Care for NCDs Initiative which seeks to strengthen the integration of NCDs in primary health care (PHC). Efforts are being taken to accelerate the prevention and control of NCDs through the SEAHEARTS initiative in Timor-Leste, with further dedicated initiatives to implement the WHO PEN and HEARTS packages through PHC in the Pacific and African SIDS. Strengthening health systems in SIDS remains a key priority to ensure a quality health workforce, effective financing mechanisms, timely data and surveillance systems, essential medicines and diagnostics and context appropriate service delivery models to meet population needs.

Fourth international conference on SIDS

The Fourth international conference on SIDS (SIDS4) will be held from 27 to 30 May 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda. The conference will aim at assessing the ability of SIDS to achieve sustainable development under the overarching theme of “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity”. The outcome will include an intergovernmental, action-oriented political outcome document.

High-level side event on NCDs and mental health

The WHO, PAHO and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will convene a high-level side event on the sidelines of the SIDS4 conference, on 28 May 2024, 14:00–15:30 AST, at the conference venue in the American University of Antigua. This session will bring together heads of state, key partners and people with lived experience, to discuss how to catalyse attention and investment for action on NCDs and mental health in SIDS in the next decade. Drawing on the 2023 Bridgetown declaration on NCDs and mental health, this event will challenge participants to focus on country solutions and the partnerships and investments that will define the achievement of SDG 3.4 in the SIDS.

Event Concept Note

Additional details will be provided soon. For more information, please contact