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Chronic Disease Brief For Africa (August 2018) By Dara Oloyede

Ghana: Stakeholders Meet to Discuss Non-Communicable Diseases 

Key Health Issues African Millennials Need to Pay Attention To

Nigeria: Mental Health Advocacy 

Namibia: Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases Launched 

Nigeria’s 2018 Demographic and Health Survey 

 

Ghana: Stakeholders Meet to Discuss Non-Communicable Diseases 

In Accra, Ghana stakeholders convened to discuss strategies to prevent and tackle Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The meeting was coordinated by the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance. The goal of the meeting was to decide on priorities for addressing NCDs, creating an effective national plan for preventing and controlling NCDs and providing universal health coverage. At this meeting, the Minister for Planning, Professor George Gyan Baffour, promised his support for partnering with civil society organizations to provide universal healthcare. Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe, who is the Chairperson of the Ghana Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, said that the main risk factors of NCDs were exposure to smoke, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and alcohol abuse. She also said that preventing and controlling NCDs is an urgent development issue (Aidoo & Atubiga, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at Ghana.gov.gh: 
Stakeholders Meet On Non-Communicable Diseases

 

Key Health Issues African Millennials Need to Pay Attention To

Over 1.2 billion people live on the continent and 51% of the population is below the age of 19. According to 2017 estimates from the Africa Development Bank, millennials make up less than 30% of the population. African Millennials have greater access to health knowledge than their counterparts because of access to the internet and social media, however, even with greater access, they are still vulnerable to many health issues.  There are 6 health issues African Millennials need to pay attention to. These six issues are: obesity, stroke, sexually transmitted infections, overuse of technology which can lead to sedentariness and mental illness, and lastly stress. Many of these issues are risks factors for non-communicable diseases (Gachanja, 2018). 

For more information about these six health issues, check out this article at africa.com: 6 Health Issues African Millennials Need to Pay Attention To

 

Nigeria: Mental Health Advocacy 

A 2018 census from the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria found that there are 250 psychiatrists in Nigeria. In a nation that has about 200 million people, there are simply not enough trained mental health providers. This number continues to decreases as providers leave the country to find better working environments. Data from 2018 shows that only 4% of Nigeria’s national budget is allocated for health. A WHO report from 2006 found that there were only eight federally funded psychiatric hospitals available – this has not changed. 

In order to tackle the issue of access to mental health services in Nigeria, Hauwa Ojeifo took matters into her own hands. She started a mental health support group for women called “Safeplace”, and over the years it has grown. In just Lagos alone, over 400 people have signed up to attend the support groups. These "Safeplace" groups have expanded to other cities as well. She also created an organization called, ‘SheWritesWomen’. This organization has a helpline for people to call in. She has over 20 volunteers who manage the phone lines (Lawal, 2018). 

To read more about mental health in Nigeria and Hauwa Ojeifo story, check out this article at Bhekisisa.org: Could you WhatsApp your way to better mental health?

Other resources: 

WHO-AIMS Report on Mental Health Systems in Nigeria 

http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/nigeria_who_aims_report.pdf

Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria

https://www.apn.org.ng

SheWritesWomen 

http://shewriteswoman.org

 

Namibia: Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases Launched 

In Namibia 1 in 5 people die of cardiovascular diseases and 1 in 20 from cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The Ministry of Health and Social Services in collaboration with the World Health Organization has implemented a “multi-sectoral response” to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the country. This strategy is part of a national push to address the risk factors that cause NCDs and also increase universal health coverage for patients (Nambia Economist, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at the Namibia Economist: Strategy For The Prevention And Control Of Non-Communicable Diseases Launched

 

Nigeria’s 2018 Demographic and Health Survey 

Data collection for Nigeria’s 2018 Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) has begun. The NDHS is a worldwide survey program developed by USAID. This survey will collect high-quality data that can be used for creating policies and programs, as well as serve monitoring and evaluation purposes. The survey will run in the six geopolitical zones between August 15th-22nd, 2018. Also, surveys at the state level will run from August 26th-December 15th, 2018. The Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the sample size will consist of 1,400 clusters and each state will have about 53 clusters. These clusters are make up 41% urban and 59% rural populations. Overall, this survey will provide data on maternal and child health, immunization, and nutrition among many other things (healthnews.africa).

 

For more information check out this article at healthnews.africa: Nigeria’s Demographic and Health Survey gets underway

 

Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation. She holds her Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health and Program Management. 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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