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Chronic Disease Brief For Africa (May 2019) By Dara Oloyede

  • Nigeria: Integrating Breast and Cervical Cancer into Secondary Education

  • Ghana: Using Pictures to Reduce Tobacco Use 

  • Kenya: Strategies to Reduce Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Botswana: Bank Gaborone Launches Diabetes Project

  • Rwanda: Increasing NCD Prevention Efforts in Local Communities 

 

Nigeria: Integrating Breast and Cervical Cancer into Secondary Education

Across the world, 1 in 6 women will have cancer and 1 out of 11 will die from cancer. (The Conversation, 2019). Although the incidence rate of cancer is lower among women from developing nations, they have higher cancer deaths rates than women from developed nations. Researchers from Griffin University used surveys to assess knowledge of cervical cancer and breast cancer in Southeastern Nigeria among young women. They found that their knowledge of both cervical and breast cancer was low. Further, they found that only 22% of the students knew about HPV and less than a third knew that it could be spread through sexual contact. They also found from their surveys that only 6.1% of the young women did monthly self-breast exams. The researchers recommended that it is important to educate young women about these cancers and how to prevent it as early as secondary education. The barriers that they foresee in providing this education to young women are conservative religious or cultural beliefs, the cost of the educational materials and training for teachers, and also sustaining such a program for students (The Conversation, 2019).

For more information check out this article at The Conversation: Tips from Nigeria on teaching teens about breast and cervical cancer

 

Ghana: Using Pictures to Reduce Tobacco Use 

Ghana has joined a few other African countries in using pictures on warning labels for tobacco products (Boateng, 2019). Research shows that these pictures are effective in reducing tobacco use. Further, they are more effective if they show health risks and increase knowledge about the harmful effects of tobacco use. It is estimated that between 5-8% of the population smokes. Under Ghana’s Tobacco Control Legislation of 2016, it mandated that all tobacco packaging include a text and picture warning label. In order to make sure that pictorial warnings are included, authorities have taken steps to make sure that this is implemented by training all law enforcement agencies, the Ghana Health Service and other involved stakeholders. These new additions to the warning labels are for the purpose of increasing people’s knowledge about tobacco use (Boateng, 2019).

For more information check out this article at The Conversation: Ghana: How Ghana Is Using Graphic Pictures to Cut Tobacco Use

More information about Ghana's Tobacco Control Regulations, 2016

 

Kenya: Strategies to Reduce Non-Communicable Diseases

During a stakeholders meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki, stated that NCDs accounted for over 55% of deaths in Kenya and over 50% of hospital admissions (Mwangi, 2019). The government has been working on strategies to move towards Universal Health Care. These strategies include improving health insurance, creating the Health Insurance Subsidy Programs, and programs that cover medical care for the elderly and those living with disabilities.  Another strategy is working with community health workers to improve prevention and also increase more preventive services for NCDs (Mwangi, 2019).

For more information check out this article at The Daily Nation: Government in new drive to beat non-communicable diseases

 

Botswana: Bank Gaborone Launches Diabetes Project

Bank Gaborone spearheaded the second edition of the Diabetes Apple project which is a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (Dichabe, 2019). This edition will run from May 15th to July 15th, 2019. The Diabetes Apple project was named as such to highlight the importance of eating healthy to help control and prevent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. In the first part of this project, they partnered with Spar to sell apples at the Bank Gaborone branches and in Spar stores across the nation. In this second launch, bags of apples are going to be sold at affordable prices in the Bank Gaborone branches and departments will also sell vouchers that can be used to get a bag of apples at Spar Stores. The funds from this project will be donated to the Diabetes Association of Botswana to raise awareness about diabetes and how it can be prevented and treated (Dichabe, 2019).

For more information check out this article at The Patriot: Bank Gaborone Launch Diabetes Project

 

Rwanda: Increasing NCD Prevention Efforts in Local Communities

Dr. Jeanine U. Condo, the Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said at a conference that the government is prioritizing prevention as one of the long-term strategies to address NCDs (Bishumba, 2019). Further, she said that she’s seeing an increase of people coming to the hospital for check-ups however, there is a need to include prevention practices within the local communities in order to improve health outcomes and reduce the costs of treatment for NCDs. Data shows that 15% of people in the nation have high blood pressure and among those 55-64 years of age 40% have high blood pressures. Researchers also found that a majority of the people who lived with high blood pressure and high blood sugar were undiagnosed and not on any treatment (Bishumba, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at The New Times: Government shifts to preventive measures to curtail NCD upsurge

 

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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