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

  • Tanzania: Invest in Mental Health Services 

  • Nigeria: Urgent Need For More Funding For Cancer Treatment Centers

  • Rwanda: Increasing Breast Cancer Awareness

  • Nigeria: 5 Million Nigerians Are Diabetic

  • African Governments Commit to Reduce Deaths From Non-Communicable Diseases 

 

Tanzania: Invest in Mental Health Services 

In Tanzania mental health is not addressed as a national public health priority. Existing research shows that the number of people who are either exposed to or have a form of mental illness is increasing. An international non-governmental agency called BasicNeeds, which focuses on supporting people with mental illnesses, estimated that 2.5 million people in this country suffer from mental illness and only 20% have access to mental health services.Trauma from major events such as the Dodoma train collision, the Mbagala bomb blasts and recent natural disasters such as earthquakes has had a major negative psychological impact on many. Among people in urban areas, there has also been an increase in stress and depression (allafrica.com).   

Fore more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Tanzania Mental Health Services Need more investment  

Nigeria: Urgent Need For More Funding For Cancer Treatment Centers

Annually, 100,000 people die from cancer and 250,000 new cases arise each year.  At an Oncology conference in Abuja, health experts asked for the federal government to increase funding for cancer treatment.  The main speaker of the event, Olumide Okunola, noted that the burden of cancer weighed even more heavily on people in poor rural areas. He advocates that Nigeria should use funds from taxes on alcohol, tobacco, loot, and the federation account to fund interventions for health issues in Nigeria. The Minister of Health expressed that in the next six months he will provide 8-12 new machines for oncology. He also expressed that the government is planning to revitalize eight designated cancer treatment centers. This year they will focus on centers for the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the National Hospital in Abuja (Owoseye, 2017).  

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Nigeria: Medical Experts Brainstorm On Improved Funding for Cancer in Nigeria 

Rwanda: Increasing Breast Cancer Awareness

The Ministry of Health has been taking measures to increase awareness about breast cancer. A breast cancer walk is being planned to take place on November 4th from the Rwandan Development Board in Gishushu to Kagugu. The purpose of this event is to increase awareness about early detection, treatment and palliative care. In order to increase workforce engagement with breast cancer education, it has been recommended that companies organize breast cancer education sessions for their staff. Human resource departments can play a major role in seeking out programs that would help to facilitate discussion and education about breast cancer. In order to target people who are working class, it is recommended that NGOs create awareness campaigns and organize breast cancer screenings (The News Times).  

For more information check out this article at newstime.co.rw: Rwanda: Take Breast Cancer Awareness to the Workplace  

Nigeria: 5 Million Nigerians Are Diabetic

Currently over five million Nigerians have been diagnosed with diabetes. Dr. Philip Ekeme who is the medical director of Sanofi Aventis Nigeria Limited said that numbers are increasing due to unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, increased alcohol use, lack of exercise, and the consumption of processed foods. He also reported that Nigeria carriers the largest burden of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. Sanofi Aventis Nigeria planned a summit for October 17th, to address the growing burden of diabetes by sharing up to date information about diabetes management with health providers (Ifijeh, 2017).  

For more information check out this article at thisdaylive.com: Nigeria: 5 Million Nigerians Are Diabetes, Expert says  

African Government's Commit to Reduce Deaths From Non-Communicable Diseases 

Minsters of health and other government officials have committed to reduce the negative health consequences correlated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Globally, heart and other diseases, as well as cancer and diabetes have high mortality rates. At the Global conference on non-communicable diseases, participating governments have supported the Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDS as a Sustainable Development Priority by pledging to reduce deaths from NCDs by one-third. The WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Ad-hanom Ghebreyesus has noted the growing burden of non-communicable diseases affects people who most likely cannot afford healthcare services (herald.co.zw).  

For more information check out this article at herald.co.zw: Africa: Govts Commit to Reduce Deaths From Non-Communicable Diseases 

 

 

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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