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

Nigeria: Organizations Advocating for A Smoke-Free Nigeria   

Cancer Kills More Women Than Men in Kenya 

Botswana Makes Huge Strides in Fighting NCDs 

Mauritius: National Prevention Campaign Against NCDs

Tanzania: World Heart Day 

 

Nigeria: Organizations Advocating for A Smoke-Free Nigeria   

Tobacco Free Nigeria is working with the Health Promotion Education and Community Development Initiative (HPECDI) to encourage Nigerians to not smoke in public spaces. These organizations carried out a campaign tour to promote a smoke-free Nigeria. One of the main goals of this tour was to increase awareness about the dangers of smoking. Mrs. Charity Ainobe-Asekharen, the coordinator of HPECDI, was one of the speakers on the tour and spoke about how smoking is not only harmful to smokers but also to those around them. So far, the focus of this campaign has mostly been in schools. They believe that educating children and youth early about the dangers of smoking will have a positive impact on their future (Egbejule, 2018).

For more information check out this article at The Guardian Nigeria: Groups warn Nigerians on dangers of smoking

 

Cancer Kills More Women Than Men in Kenya 

According to the World Health Organization, more Kenyan women die from cancer than men. The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Globocan 2018 data shows that yearly 18,772 women and 14,215 men die from cancer. The same is reflected in the number of cancer case among men versus women, where women were reported to have higher cancer cases than men at 28,688 and 19,199 respectively. Also, Globocan data shows that Kenyan women will continue to bear the cancer burden and are predicted to have twice the cancer incidence rate as men. Doctors say that these high rates are due to late diagnosis, shame around seeking medical care, low income and fear. Dr. Sitna Mwanzi, the chair of Kenya Society of Hematology and Oncology, noted that although more women go for screenings then men, it’s usually late when cancer has already become more advanced (Mwango, 2018).

For more information check out this article at the Daily Nation: Cancer kills more women than men in Kenya: WHO

 

Botswana Makes Huge Strides in Fighting NCDs 

On September 17th, leaders in Botswana convened at a forum in Gaborone to explore strategies to reduce Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs). In Botswana, NCDs account for more than 37% of total deaths. Also, data shows that a third of the population is overweight or obese, and one in five smoke. The leading causes of death in this nation are cardiovascular diseases and injuries. Common risks factors include increased consumption of processed foods, poor road safety, alcohol abuse, and late diagnosis and treatment. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, the former president of Botswana and now a member of the World Health Organization’s High-Level commission on NCDs, said that it’s important for the nation to tackle NCDs with the same energy that they did during the HIV pandemic. The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Alfred Madigele, spoke at the meeting about the work the ministry has already been doing to address NCDs. The ministry has been focusing on prevention and primary care and has encouraged multisectoral collaboration. Botswana has also implemented a high tax on alcohol and tobacco products and has organized multisectoral collaboration to improve road safety and increase early screening, diagnosis and treatment for cervical cancer. These improvements are all part of Botswana’s National Strategy for Prevention and Control of NCDs (2017-2022) (Kanono, 2018).

For more information check this article at The Patriot: Botswana Leads the way in Fight NCDs

 

Mauritius: National Prevention Campaign Against NCDs

This month the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life launched the National Prevention campaign against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and educate the public about risk factors, consequences, and preventative measures of NCDs. This campaign includes screenings for NCDs, breast and cervical cancer, vision, cholesterol in addition to counselling and health education. Dr. Anwar Husnoo, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, said that early detection is key to preventing NCDs. In 2017 there were 2,500 new cancer cases – 1,500 were among women and 1,000 were among men. Additionally, NCDs are the leading cause of death in Mauritius. So far, the work they have been doing with mobile clinics has been successful and last year they reached 48,595 people and screened 29,850 people (Government Information Service, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at the Government of Mauritius: National prevention campaign against Non-Communicable Diseases launched at Goodlands

 

Tanzania: World Heart Day 

Tanzania is using World Heart Day (WHD) as an opportunity to raise awareness on heart disease. The Tanzania Cardiac Society (TCS) launched the campaign, “My Heart, Your Heart”  on September 14th. The president of TCS, Dr. Robert Mvungi, said that these celebrations will help to increase awareness, educate, and inspire people to keep their hearts healthy. In Tanzania, cardiac diseases were the biggest cause of morbidity and mortality. Dr. Mvungi also said that about 80% of premature heart-related deaths can be prevented (Nachilongo, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at the Citizen: Tanzania to Mark World Heart Day, to raise awareness on heart diseases

 

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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