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Chronic Disease Brief For Africa (August 2017) By Dara Oloyede

Using Peer Support Groups to Increase Diabetes Management, Awareness and Education

High Costs of Healthcare Services in Nigeria

Number of People with More Than One Chronic Condition Is Rising

Uganda: Police Instructed to Enforce Tobacco Control Act

Diabetes Poses a Threat in Ethiopia

 

 

Using Peer Support Groups to Increase Diabetes Management, Awareness and Education

In Mali the Community Against Diabetes and Hypertension (CADH) advocates for patient support groups because they believe that it is the best way for people who are learning to manage diabetes and other chronic illnesses to receive support (Itai, 2017). Since 2015 CADH has been working in the community and using peer support groups to increase awareness and education about diabetes management. Dr. Isaac Chirwa, who is the board chairperson of the organization, said he has seen significant improvement in people’s ability to manage their conditions through these support groups. These groups are centered on patient education and peer support across all age groups (Itai, 2017).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Malawi CADH endorses peer support groups in diabetes fight

 

High Costs of Healthcare Services in Nigeria

Even with the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Nigeria, many experts  raise concerns that healthcare costs are still very high (Essen, 2017). Experts spoke at an event organized by the Centre for Health Economic and Development with the Ministry of Health in Abuja, on ‘Financing Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria’. During this talk they discussed that out-of-pocket expenses on health services in Nigeria were the highest on the continent. The former Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, who spoke on the topic of ‘Moving Towards Universal Health Coverages in Nigeria: Challenges of the Informal Sector and Primary Healthcare Delivery System’, said that reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in the health sector lies in Nigeria’s ability to transition to universal health coverage. He noted that the low-coverage plans like the NHIS and community-based insurance programs has resulted in high out-of-pocket payments. Mrs. Idia Anibilowo, who is the acting executive Secretary of the NHIS, said that a policy should be made to guide states because “Nigerians cannot have a centralized healthcare system in a decentralized context, while the UHC should be standardized.” (Essen, 2017)

For more information check out this article at guardian.ng: Experts decry high costs of healthcare services in Nigeria

 

The Number of People with More Than One Chronic Condition Is Rising

The number of people with multi-morbidities, which is having more than one chronic illness, has been increasing (Oni & Berkowitz, 2017).  Multi-morbidities can occur with a chronic condition paired with another chronic condition, disease, disorder, or other health problem.  For example, there has been a rise in the number of people simultaneously dealing with diabetes and hypertension. The increase in non-communicable diseases has been fueled by dietary and behavioral changes shaped by urbanization. The risk factors between non-communicable diseases and chronic communicable diseases are often shared, which increases the risk of multi-morbidities. Populations that have a low socio-economic status are particularly vulnerable to multi-morbidities. In order to address this problem, the authors suggests engaging with multiple sectors, especially those that lie outside the health sector (Oni & Berkowitz, 2017). 

For more information check out this article at herald.co.zw: Why number of people with more than one chronic condition is rising

 

Uganda: Police instructed to enforce Tobacco Control Act

In Uganda Tobacco use has resulted in the deaths of about 13,500 people and is tied to most cancers and non-communicable diseases (Emodek, 2017). Mable Kukunda, the Advocacy officer at Uganda health Consumers Organization (UNHCO), has said that the nation has the strongest tobacco policy and that it needs police enforcement. The superintendent of police, Kenneth Muheirwe from Kampala Metropolitan, also agreed that police should hold people accountable to this act, however he notes that there are challenges due to the lack of standards on how to enforce the policy. The UNHCO is working with the Uganda National Standards Bureau (UNBS) in order to create standards on tobacco products  and how the policy should be enforced (Emodek, 2017).

For more information check out this article at newvision.co.ug: Police told to enforce Tobacco Control Act

 

Diabetes Poses a Threat in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia diabetes and hypertension has caused the majority of outpatient visits and deaths (Tibebu, 2017). Dr. Alula Abebe who works at St. Yared Hospitals, said that about four million Ethiopians are estimated to have diabetes. He also says that health complications such as “blindness, chronic renal failure, and actuation,” are mostly caused by diabetes (Tibebu, 2017). In order to raise awareness about diabetes the Ministry of Health has created and disseminated health information to health institutions and other stakeholders involved. Dr. Alula recommends that beyond raising awareness, creating chronic care organizations, increasing that capacity of health professionals, as well as intensifying preventative measures should be prioritized (Tibebu, 2017).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Ethiopia: Diabetes Poses a Looming Threat

 

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

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