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Chronic Disease Brief For Africa (August 2016) By Dara Oloyede

Africa: To Beat Diabetes, Awareness Should Focus On Health, Not Disease

Low Life Expectancy In Nigeria

Tanzania: Alcohol Consumption Among Youth

Cancer’s Growing Threat In Africa

Non-Communicable Diseases in Rwanda

 

Africa: To Beat Diabetes, Awareness Should Focus On Health, Not Disease

Diabetes along with other non-communicable diseases are anticipated to lead many to deaths in sub-Saharan African by 2030 (allafrica.com). Non-communicable diseases are caused by lifestyle habits such as tobacco and alcohol abuse, sedentariness, and an unhealthy diet (allafrica.com). In order to beat diabetes it is important to raise awareness “that a conscious diet is not lavishness but an investment in health” (allafrica.com). Increasing public knowledge about how to prevent diabetes is part of the 2016 World Health Day campaign.  Although people are becoming more aware about the health risks that come with unhealthy lifestyles, it remains mostly elites who have access to health literature and other forms of information on living a healthy lifestyle.

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Africa: To Beat Diabetes, Awareness Should Focus On Health, Not Disease

 

Low Life Expectancy In Nigeria

Nigeria ranks among the countries the have the lowest life expectancies in the world (allafrica.com). The World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2016 life expectancy data reports that Nigerians' life expectancy is 55 for women and 54 for men (allafrica.com). The WHO report indicates that the causes of low life expectancy can be attributed to health related conditions such as “heart diseases, diabetes, pneumonia, kidney problems, cancers, malaria, among others” (allafrica.com). A lot of these health related issues are preventable through polices and initiatives, and can be treated with the right resources and expertise (allafrica.com). The minister of Health in Nigeria Professor Isaac Adewole, said that “non-communicable disease were responsible for about 67% of deaths globally, out of which Nigeria accounts for 27%” (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: Tackling Low Life Expectancy in Nigeria

 

Tanzania: Alcohol Consumption Among Youth

The legal drinking age in Tanzania is 18 years old, and alcohol is easily accessible in places like hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, and etc. Researchers have noted that the Kinondini district in Dar es Salaam is a popular location that draws a lot of youth, and it is also a place where there is a lot of alcohol availability. A mental health specialist named Dr. Swai says that there has been an increase in alcohol dependecy for youth. She attributes it to "loneliness, unemployment, and family breakdown" (allafrica.com).  Dr. Ali Mzige who is a Family and Public Health Consultant, advocates for a curb in alcohol consumption especially during pregnancy since it is linked to birth defects (allafrica.com). In addition other medical experts says that the abuse of alcohol can increase one's vulnerability to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney issues, and cancer, therefore the government must do everything they can to help the youth  (alllafrica.com).  

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Africa: Why Alcohol Consumption Among Youth Is On the Rise

 

Cancer’s Growing Threat In Africa

At the 10th ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference,’ health leaders and experts addressed the need to address and fight the high increase in cancer deaths on the continent (mgafrica.com). “Cancer is on the rise and has become one of the biggest killers in Africa, with women and girls bearing the brunt of these diseases” (mgafrica.com).  Dr. Zuma, who is the African Union Commission chairperson talked about the importance of investing in women’s health prevention and treatment in order to tackle cancer . In Kenya, Cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death (mgafrica.com). Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are expected to be 40% of the disease burden in Africa. In addition, cancer causes and deaths are predicted to increase to 70% by 2030 (mgafrica.com).  Dr. Adhanom, Ethiopia’s’ foreign minster, says that prevention is the best and most “cost-effective approach for managing the burden and also the approach that would save most lives" (mgafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at mgafrica.com: Cancer Deaths : A concerted effort needed to combat growing threat to Africa

 

Non-Communicable Diseases in Rwanda

“Senators are concerned about the increasing threat of non-communicable diseases and are calling for more affordable treatment” (allafrica.com). During a presentation by members of the Human Rights and Petition committee, members gave a report on their visit to different health facilities across the country. The report by the committee shows that there are not enough specialists who treat NCDs and also that specialized clinics are inaccessible for many because of the cost of treatment.  In addition the reports also show that only “0.3% of those who are on health insurance scheme do their annual checkups” (allafrica.com). The chairperson of the committee, who is Senator Gallican Niyongana, said “improving lifestyles can help in preventing new cases” (allafrica.com). Members of the committee recommend that more people do annual checkups, exercise, and eat healthier. Also they are calling for hospitals NCDs health facilitites to organize their services.  

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Rwanda: Non-Communicable Diseases Worry Senators

 

Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation, and she is pursuing her MPH in Public Health. During her free time she likes to read books, hang out with friends, go to the movies, concerts, as well as events that celebrate different cultures. 

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