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

Botswana: Tobacco Kills More People Than HIV/AIDS, TB, And Malaria Combined

Tanzania: Economic Burden of Diabetes Expected to Increase to $16.2 Billion By 2030

Ethiopia: Reducing the Impact Of Cancer

Tanzania: Using Whatsapp to Fight Cancer

Nigeria: Health Minister Wants Tobacco Law Enforced

 

Botswana: Tobacco Kills More People Than HIV/AIDS, TB, And Malaria Combined

Researchers have found that tobacco use and second-hand smoke results in more deaths annually than HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria together (Thatayamodimo, 2017). At a national conference for Tobacco, the Minster of Health and Wellness, Ms. Dorcas Makgota, said that tobacco “silently robs men women, and children and other vulnerable innocent people of their right to health and living healthy lives due to its addictive nature" (Thatayamodimo, 2017). The Minister of Health also noted research by the WHO and World Bank that indicated that tobacco use is higher in low-resources countries than in high-resource countries. Low resource countries are more likely to have limited resources to protect themselves against disease and manage treatment as a result of tobacco use or second-hand smoke (Thatayamodimo, 2017).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Botswana: Anti Tobacco War Firms Up

 

Tanzania: Economic Burden of Diabetes Expected to Increase to $16.2 Billion By 2030

A team of 73 experts in sub-Saharan Africa formed the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Commission to evaluate the economic impact that it has had on health systems and explore various solutions (Buguzi, 2017).  They predicted that the financial burden of non-communicable diseases will increase in Tanzania and other Eastern African nations from $3.8 billion in 2015, to $16.2 billion by 2030 (Buguzi, 2017). Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia have been predicted to experience the hardest hit. The team recommends that effectively coordinating care around diabetes necessitates expanding services to meet current and future needs. As of now only half of those with diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa know they have the disease, and 1 in 10 have access to the drugs they need. The commission asserts that action is important, and that inaction would result in many more health, economic, and social consequences (Buguzi, 2017).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania Battles Rising Diabetes Burden

 

Ethiopia: Reducing the Impact of Cancer

A 2012 national survey estimated that 60,749 Ethiopians have cancer (Kassa, 2017). A research study done by the Black Lion Hospital in 2015 showed that the most common form of malignancy among women were gynecological malignancy (47%) and breast carcinoma (26%). Midwife Sister Senait Leake, chief specialized nurse at the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE), spoke about many of the factors associated with high rates of cervical cancer in the nation. Some of the factors included lack of awareness and limited effective screening programs. Also another issue is that cancer care is overshadowed by other diseases such as AIDS, Tuberculous, and Malaria (Kassa, 2017).

For more information, check out this article at allafrica.com: Ethiopia: Joint Efforts to Curb the Impact of Cancer

 

Tanzania: Using Whatsapp to Fight Cancer

In Tanzania cancer cases are on the rise and lack of awareness about its symptoms, as well as barriers to seeking medical attention contribute to its the rise (Buguzi, 2017). Efforts to curb false information about cancer have not been very effective. According to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) an estimated 30,000 new cases of cancer occur annually. A group of health professionals are currently using WhatsApp, an instant messaging application for smartphones, to address cancer misinformation and unawareness. In February, these radiotherapists created WhatsApp groups called ‘Saratani.info 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5’ to increase awareness about cancer. So far each group has around 250 members. Mr. Franklin Mtei, the founder of Sarantani.info, and Managing Director of the Tanzanian Cancer Society, leads a team or radiotherapists, doctors, and nurses who provide education to members of the groups. The goal of these groups is to educate members so that they become Cancer Ambassadors who would in turn educate other people (Buguzi, 2017).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania: How WhatsApp is used to fight Cancer in Tanzania

 

Nigeria: Health Minister Wants Tobacco Law Enforced

In a letter Isaac Adewole, the Health Minster has urged the Attorney-General of Federation and the Nigerian Police force to enforce the National Tobacco Control Act (Ezeamalu, 2017). He requested the collaboration of both departments in order to promote population health. A 2012 Global Adult Survey in Nigeria has showed that 20 billion sticks of cigarettes were consumed annually. 5.6% of adults currently use tobacco products, and 29.3% of adults are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. The National Tobacco control act was signed in 2015 but implementation has taken time due to regulation processes (Ezeamalu, 2017).

For more information check out this article at premiumtimesng.com: Nigeria: Health Minster Writes AGF, Police, NDLEA, Wants Tobacco Law Enforced

 

 

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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