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

July 2016

  • Tanzania Bans Shisha Smoking

  • Ethiopia: First Lady Stresses Need To Tackle Cancer and Malnutrition

  • Tanzania: Chronic Diseases Need State Action

  • Rwanda: Non-Communicable Diseases On the Rise

  • Nigeria: 51 Million Nigerians Will Get Universal Health Coverage By 2017

  • Confronting Nigeria’s Growing Epidemic Of Heart Disease

 

Tanzania Bans Shisha Smoking

Tanzania has banned the use of Shisha due to health concerns (bbc.com). Shisha has become popular among youth, and there is major concern that its use can mask alcohol or drug abuse. “There have been cases of some users replacing the water with alcohol or marijuana infused water” (bbc.com).  The Prime Minister warns that shisha has harmful effects that will impact future generations. The use of shisha is linked to “heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and problems during pregnancy” (bbc.com). It is a common misconception that shisha is not as harmful as cigarettes, however “the British Heart Foundation says an hour-long shisha session can be the equivalent of smoking more than 100 cigarettes” (bbc.com).

For more information check out this article at bbc.com: Tanzania bans shisha smoking over health concerns

 

Ethiopia: First Lady Stresses Need To Tackle Cancer and Malnutrition

First lady Roman Tesfaye is advocating for cancer and malnutrition prevention in Ethiopia (allfrica.com). She says that the media plays a huge role in raising awareness and encouraging people to seek health services. From July 24-27 there will be an International Cancer conference held in Addis, which Tesfaye says will address disease and nutrition concerns. In addition she stresses that the country needs to use best prevention practices in order to prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Ethiopia: First Lady Stresses Need for Joint Work to Tackle Cancer, Malnutrition

 

Tanzania: Chronic Diseases Need State Action

Medical professionals and researchers in Tanzania want the government to provide free treatment for chronic diseases; particularly to help those on antiretroviral drugs. According to the Ifakara Health Institute HIV specialist, Dr. Herry Mapesi, he says that because of the free distribution of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), people who take it can live as long as those who do not take ARVs. However, he argues that because of the toll ARVs takes on those with HIV, they are more at risk for chronic diseases. Evidence shows that “25% of patients when tested for HIV have renal problems and 12% have high blood pressure complications” (allafrica.com). Dr. Mapesi said that it is a huge challenge that ARVs are freely distributed but not treatments for other chronic diseases in which those on ARVs are more prone to getting.

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Africa: Chronic Diseases Need State Action

 

Rwanda: Non-Communicable Diseases On the Rise

The government’s slow movement to increase best practices, strategies, and policies that can prevent non-communicable diseases, and deal with the increasing number of cases will be a financial and human resource cost (allafrica.com). According to research, “new cases of NCDs seen in health facilities include cardiovascular disease which has increased greatly from 18,428 cases in 2013 to 48,264 cases, followed by diabetes from 198 to 5,628” (allafrica.com). A conducted survey in 2012 and 2013 reported that alcohol and tobacco consumption were high in Rwanda (allafrica.com). In addition the survey reported low numbers in the amount of people who sought full medical checkups, were physically active, and had 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day. Youth comprise 50% of Rwanda’s population, and they are at the largest risk of having NCDs.

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Africa: Non-Communicable Diseases On the Rise in Rwanda

 

Nigeria: 51 Million Nigerians Will Get Universal Health Coverage By 2017

In order to make healthcare accessible to all, 51 million Nigerians will gain access to free healthcare by 2017. By the year 2025 every Nigerian is expected to have access to free healthcare. Mr. Olufemi Akingbade who is the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme says that the plan also includes looking at other ways to extend health insurance to more people, through programs such as the ‘State Health Insurance Initiative’ to effectively implement state health access, and also the ‘Public Primary Pupils Social Health Insurance Programme’ in order to cover 24 million children (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: 51 Million Nigerians Will Get Universal Health Coverage By 2017 - NHIs

 

Confronting Nigeria’s Growing Epidemic Of Heart Disease

Cardiovascular diseases have slowly been rising in Nigeria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “over half a million Nigerians died from non-Communicable diseases in 2012” (nigeriahealthwatch.com). Due to increasing changes in lifestyle and habits, these numbers are said to increase. Most heart diseases are preventable, however risk factors include (for example) tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, and high blood pressure. Population based interventions, as well as changes in the health care system can play a huge role in reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease as well as providing treatment for it (nigeriahealthwatch.com).  

For more information on ways to confront Nigeria’s growing epidemic, check out this article at nigeriahealthwatch.com: Confronting Nigeria’s growing epidemic of heart disease

 

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Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation. She is pursuing her MPH in Public Health with a focus in Maternal and Child Health and Health Policy. 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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