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

Uganda: National Day of Physical Activity

Nigeria: Cancer is the Leading Cause of Death 

Zimbabwe: First Lady Champions Cancer Treatment and Awareness

Ethiopia: Promoting Early Cancer Screenings

Tanzania: Forum to Address Non-Communicable Diseases 

 

 

Uganda: National Day of Physical Activity 

The 2014 Uganda NCD risk factor survey results showed that Ugandans were increasingly becoming physcially inactive. The survey results showed that older adults (7.8%) were more inactive than young adults (4.1%). Also they found that women (4.9%) were less active than men (3.7%) (Kananathan, 2018). In response to these statistics in the beginning of July the Ministry of Health kicked off the National Day of Physical Activity. The theme of the event was ‘Be Physically Active, Be Healthy – Your health is your Responsibility’.The Ministry of Health with the support of President Museveni launched this event  to encourage citizens to engage in more physical activities and eat healthier foods. 

For more information check out this article at Daily Monitor : Day of Physical Activity: A step in stop non-communicable diseases 

 

Nigeria: Cancer is the Leading Cause of Death 

Annually 72,000 people die in Nigeria from Cancer. Many of those who had died were diagnosed late. Advocates at the Nigerian Cancer Alliance meeting in Abuja convened together to address strategies for creating awareness and increasing access to cancer care. The CEO of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs. Amy Oyekumle, said that the lack of attention towards cancer is the reason for the high number of cancer deaths. Additionally she said that the lack of funds and resources to treat cancer patients is an issue that also needs to be addressed. The goal of the Alliance is to increase cancer awareness and early diagnosis of cancer so that patients can be aware of their health condition before the cancer progresses to the later stages (Iroegbu, 2018).

For more information check out this article at This Day: WFA: Poor Cancer Awareness in Nigeria, Leading Cause of Death

 

Zimbabwe: First Lady Champions Cancer Treatment and Awareness

The First lady Amai Mnangagwa is an ambassador for children and women’s health. She announced that Zimbabwe will be strengthening their cancer treatment program. She announced this at the 12th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer (SCCA) conference in Maseru, Lesotho. This campaign is in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to increase awareness for cancer prevention. She noted that Zimbabwe is one of the top 10 countries in the world when it comes to high cervical cancer rates. Every year 3,000 new cervical cancer cases and 1,500 deaths are recorded. In most cases, people are diagnosed late. Her plan is for a multi-pronged approach which includes improving the screening program, outreach to people in rural areas via a mobile bus, and also strengthening treatment programs so they are affordable and that resources are available for patients. She has also started the National HPV program in order to promote vaccinations for girls between 10-14 (Rupapa, 2018).  

For more information check this article at The Herald: JUST IN: Zim strengthens cancer treatment

 

Ethiopia: Promoting Early Cancer Screenings

The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) is an NGO that focuses on cancer screening, prevention and control. Dr. Ezkiel Petros, a Gynecologist Specialist with the FGAE, said that pre-cancer screenings and treatment tests are important for maintaining maternal health. He notes that there are many factors that hinder women from seeking screenings and treatment – this includes cultural influences and lack of awareness. According to Petros, cervical cancer is easily identifiable, he said that pre-cancer screenings can detect the presence of cancer above 90%. He also said that the first and second stages of cancer of cervical cancer are about 80-90% preventable since it is still at it’s early stage. At the third and fourth stage, cervical cancer is 50-60% preventable, however treatment via radiation and chemotherapy is needed (Kassa, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at the Ethiopian Herald: Early pre-cancer treatment for the sake of life!

 

Tanzania: Forum to Address Non-Communicable Diseases 

At the Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum, called 'Our Health, Our Lifestyle', leaders came together to discuss Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The forum included health stakeholders from various sectors to share lessons and recommendations to reduce NCDs in Tanzania. According to a 2015-2016 Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria indicator Survey, 28% of Tanzanian women were either overweight or obese.  Ms. Ummy Mwalimu, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, said that although the government has increased the health budget, they have been unable to tackle NCDs due to the gap in coverage for resources (both financial and human) to NCDs (Namkwahe, 2018). 

 

For more information check out this article at The Citizen: Obesity big problem fuelling NCDs

 

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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