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

October 2016

Egypt’s Obesity Battle

Nigeria’s Rising Prevalence of Diabetes

Kenya: Many At Risk For A Tobacco-Related Disease

Nigeria: Lagos Makes Plans To Build Cancer Research Institute

Sub-Saharan Africa: Campaign Targets Cervical Cancer Among Girls

 

Egypt’s Obesity Battle

Egypt ranks high among countries that have the highest child obesity rates in the world. The World Obesity Federation says that 32% of children in Egypt are obese, placing the country 7th worldwide (theguardian.com). Obesity can impact people on all class levels. Diets that are heavily meat based, contain lots of carbohydrates and sugar, in conjunction with lack of exercise increase the risk for obesity. For wealthy families, this remains the same in addition to access to fast food. Data collected by the WHO from 2011-2012 reports that 62.2% of Egyptian adults were overweight, and 31.3% of them were obese (theguardian.com). Dr. Randa Abous el Naga who works at the WHO in Egypt says that lack of exercise “is the main driver of obesity” (theguardian.com). He cites city-planning, overcrowding in schools as some examples of barriers to exercise (theguardian.com)

For more information check out theguardian.com: Egypt Obesity Battle: ‘No one cares about calories here’

 

Nigeria’s Rising Prevalence of Diabetes

Diabetes is progressively becoming an urgent issue of concern in Nigeria. The WHO reports that about 12 million Nigerians have diabetes, and in 2015 120,000 Nigerians were reported to have died from the disease (allafrica.com). The Nigerian Medical Association says that “diabetes is not just a medical issue, but one with a huge multi-sectoral and socioeconomic dimension and severe burden on the health system” (allafrica.com).  The disease is noted as a silent killer, affecting especially those who remain undiagnosed. Professor Chris Bode who is the Chief Medical Director at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital cites preferences for sugary drinks and foods as risky factor Diabetes (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: Halting the Scourge of Diabetes

 

Kenya: Many At Risk For A Tobacco-Related Disease

Everyday about 11 million people in Kenya are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke in the home and or at work (allafrica.com). Health workers warn that continued exposure to smoke increases the risk of a chronic illness. The WHO reported that in 2014, 27% of people in Kenya had died from a non-communicable disease (allafrica.com). A Kenyan Stepwise survey done in 2015 summarized that people who had a low SES were the heavist smokers, at 18%, and that 13% of the middle class and 10% of people ofa high SES were smokers (allafrica.com). 

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Kenya: Many At Risk of Tobacco-Related Diseases

 

Nigeria: Lagos Makes Plans To Build Cancer Research Institute

The Lagos state government is in preparation to build an institute that does research on cancer treatment. At a public hearing for a bill to create the institute, people brought up an important point that sending patients out of the country to seek medical care was costly. Other people at the hearing mentioned that it was more cost effective to prevent cancer than to treat it. This bill is an important step to reducing incidences of cancer and making treatment more accessible. Lagos is one of the first cities in the country to create a legislation to promote and coordinate research on cancer (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: Lagos Plans Institute to Curb Cancer Deaths

 

Sub-Saharan Africa: Campaign Targets Cervical Cancer Among Girls

Cervical cancer results in higher rates of death in Sub-saharan Africa in comparison to other cancers (theguardian.com). Gavi, a vaccine alliance, is collaborating with another organization called the Girl Effect to increase the availability of the Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Malawi. Together they are pulling $10 million dollars to increase awareness and accessibility of vaccines. A piece of their awareness campaign includes addressing misconceptions around the vaccine. “The HPV vaccine protects girls against 70% of incidences of cervical cancer” (theguardian.com).  This collaboration seeks to address barriers to vaccination which include access to treatment and screening, especially in rural areas (theguardian.com).

For more information check out this article at theguardian.com: $10m campaign targets cervical cancer among girls in sub-Saharan Africa

 

Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation, and she is pursuing her MPH in Public Health. 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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