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

March 2017 Africa Health News

The Burden of Cancer in Tanzania

South Africa: Unhealthy Food Ads Target Poor People

West Africa: New Regional Center for Disease Control

34 Million Nigerians Living with Kidney Disease

Liberia: New National Public Health Institute

 

The Burden of Cancer in Tanzania

This past year the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) recorded 5,529 cancer cases in Dar es Salaam. Since 2013 the number of new cases has been on the rise. Cervical cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in Tanzania. Last year there were 1,896 recorded cases. Dar es Salaam is the city with the most recorded cases, however being that the ORCI is the country’s only cancer treatment center, and many people come from around the region to seek treatment and may move there for long term care, it cannot accurately be indicated as the city with the highest cancer rates. In addition, the ORCI currently does not have  a system that accurately keeps tracks of its patient’s locations. There is a critical need for a cancer registry system to help capture where incidences of cancer are and who is affected. In addition, there is a need for a population-based study to further examine the burden of cancer in Tanzania (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania: The Cancer Burden That Dar Carries

 

South Africa: Unhealthy Food Ads Target Poor People

In a research study that examined how different populations were exposed to food advertisements, researchers found that “more than half of the adverts in magazines that primarily targeted poor, Black people were for unhealthy and starchy food, [while on the other hand] affluent, non-Black groups were shown slimming foods and dietary supplements” (businesstech.co.za). They also found in their research that these magazine advertisements often misguided readers on the types of foods that were healthy or beneficial. Food advertisements have been linked to increasing the number of overweight and obese people in the nation. About half of magazines and TV advertisements promote unhealthy foods and make false claims of their benefits and value. These advertisements often target populations who may not have knowledge about healthy foods and nutrition. The most vulnerable populations are children, women, and poor Black populations. Often these groups have limited access to education, health education, nutritious food, and are more likely to be overweight or obese. In order to reduce the increasing incidences of obesity, it is important to put regulations on unhealthy food advertisements (businesstech.co.za).

For more information check out this article at businesstech.co.za: How unhealthy food ads target poor illiterate people

 

West Africa: New Regional Center for Disease Control

In Abuja, Nigeria a new regional Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been established to tackle outbreaks such as Ebola. The Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization, Dr. Xavier Crespin, said that this new center will help to increase preparedness for epidemics, through training, research, and surveillance. The University of Ghana will be providing training through the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP). In addition, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) will be proving training for the medical staff as well (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: West Africa: Regional Center for Disease Control

 

34 Million Nigerians Living with Kidney Disease

About 1 in 5 Nigerians currently have Kidney disease. Bamgboye, the Clinical Director at St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos reported that annually the hospital treats over 120 patients with kidney disease. He attributed this to the rise of non-communicable disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The director called for the government to create and support programs for the prevention and treatment of kidney disease. He said that they are many “sound and cost-effective models of screening and treatment” that can be used as great examples for Nigeria (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: 34 Million Nigerians Living With Kidney Disease

 

Liberia: New National Public Health Institute

A New National Public Health Institute has been created in Liberia. Dr. Bernice Dahn, who is the Health Minister, says that this institute rose out of the immense impact of the Ebola outbreak. After the epidemic, the ministry created a National Investment Plan. One of the actions steps was to increase “capacity building, surveillance, response and the develope the National Public Health Institute” (allafrica.com). The Minister said that investing in this institute will be a great way to reduce the economic and social costs of disease. Once the organization is up and running advocates believe that it will improve health nationally (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Liberia: Health Minister Expresses Delight Over National Public Health Institute

 

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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