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

December 2016 Health News

Kenya: Rising Rates of Diabetes Among Children

Tanzania: Rising Rates of Cervical Cancer

Nigeria: Many Die Due to Non-Communicable Diseases

Famine and Fat: Malawi’s Double-Edged Nutrition Problem

WHO: More Africans at risk of chronic illness

 

Kenya: Rising Rates of Diabetes Among Children

Currently about 25,000 children in Kenya have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (allafrica.com). According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) the prevalence of this disease will continue to rise if nothing is done to reverse this trend. The Head of Division of Non-Communicable Disease, Joseph Kibachio, said that parents and guardians are key to making sure that children are getting the nutrients they need and are exercising. The Ministry of Health is currently addressing this issue through a diabetes program for children. This program provides access to free medication and medical treatment in any public health facility for those under 18 with diabetes (allafrica.com). Public health efforts geared towards disease management is an  important level of public health, however more initiatives geared towards prevention is esepcially an important and neccessary way to prevent and further stop the spread of diseases. 

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Kenya: More Kenyan Children Getting Diabetes Due to Unhealthy Eating Habits

 

Tanzania: Rising Rates of Cervical Cancer

The Tanzania Youth Alliance (Tayoa) reported that cases of cervical cancer were rising in the country (allafrica.com). In 2014, 59,871 women went for screening and more than 10,000 of the were diagnosed with the cancer (allafrica.com). Tayoa launched it’s screening program for Cervical Cancer in 2014, and they noticed that still many women were not coming in for screenings. The deputy director of the program, Elizabeth Ndakidemia, said that the rising number of cases is also due to “myths and misconceptions about the disease” (allafrica.com). Dispelling myths and eliminating misconceptions about cervical cancer through education can greatly contribute to helping to increase the number of women and girls who go for screenings. To support women's rights, Tayoa encourages women to take on leadership roles, and also they challenge other organizations and stakeholders to support policies that would protect women’s rights  (allafrica.com). 

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania: Cervical Cancer Cases on the Rise

 

Nigeria: Many Die Due to Non-Communicable Diseases

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the mortality rate from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria is high (allafrica.com). He also said that the country could lose up to $8 billion over the next 10 years in deaths due to NCDs. According to research, “hypertension is the leading cardiovascular disease in Nigeria, and also 1 in 5 Nigerians are hypertensive” (allafrica.com). A health consequence of not treating hypertension properly is a stroke. Awareness is key to the prevention of a stroke, however, many are unaware of their status (allafrica.com). 

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigerians Are Dying of Unhealthy Diets - - Minister

 

Famine and Fat: Malawi’s Double-Edged Nutrition Problem

Currently in Malawi people have been dealing with the challenges of the nation’s worst drought in a long time (dw.com). This drought has resulted in a hunger crisis, particularly among rural dwellers. On the other hand, a survey revealed that there have been rising rates of the number of people who are overweight. Zione Kalumikiza, who is an expert on nutrition from the Lilongwe University, said that those who tend to be obese live in the city, have a higher than average education, and do not exercise nor eat healthy (dw.com). In Malawi both “undernourishment and weight loss as well as obesity” are great challenges (dw.com).

For more information check out this article at dw.com: Famine and Fat: Malawi’s Double-Edged Nutrition Problem

 

WHO: More Africans At Risk of Chronic Illness

A survey done by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that many adults “have a least one risk factor increasing their chance of developing deadly lifestyle diseases” (indianexpress.com). Urbanization has consequentially led to the increase in unhealthy lifestyle habits that put many at risk for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes (indianexpress.com). These lifestyle habits include smoking, eating unhealthy foods, alcohol abuse, and not exercising. It is estimated that 46% of Africans have high blood pressure, and also that by 2020 four million will die from a non-communicable disease (indianexpress.com).

For more information check out this article at indianexpress.com: More Africans at risk of chronic illness: WHO

 

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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