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

WHO Encourages Nigerians to Exercise 

36% of Nigerians Say Their Health Needs Are Met 

Malawians Encouraged To Go For High Blood Pressure Testing 

Namibia: 30% Of Deaths Due To Heart Diseases 

Zambia: Prioritizing Nutrition For Socio-economic Development 


WHO Encourages Nigerians to Exercise 

The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the ministries of health, sports and youth development, and the Wellbeing Foundation organized a walk called 'the health for all challenge.' Dr. Wondi Alemu, the WHO country representative in Nigeria, said that this walk was created to encourage Nigerians to engage in exercise and take preventative measures to better their health and wellbeing. He said that in order to achieve universal health for all, Nigerians should exercise at least three times a week. Mrs. Toyin Saraki echoes this saying that the walk was created to encourage universal health (Ojoma, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at WHO tasks Nigerians on healthy lifestyle


36% of Nigerians Say Their Health Needs Are Met 

According to a recent survey on Nigeria’s health system executed by Royal Philips, only 36% of Nigeria’s health needs are met. This survey was created to assess the future of health and other health challenges in Nigeria. This statistic highlights the gap of care in the healthcare system. More than 50% of Nigerians depend on hospitals for minor conditions, showing a need for increased access to primary care practitioners, local health facilities, education about health and nutrition, and a functioning surveillance system to track health indicators. CEO of Philips Africa, Jasper Westerlinks, said that there is a great need for preventative healthcare, especially considering the growing rates of non-communicable diseases (Onyedika-Ugoeze, Ogune, Onyenucheya, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at 36% of Nigerians health needs are met, says survey


Malawians Encouraged to go for High Blood Pressure testing 

The International Society of Hypertension (ISH) is encouraging Malawians to have their blood pressure tested through out the month of May. The ISH has coined this initiative ‘Malawi for May Measurement Month (MMM) project’. The leader of ISH, Henry Ndhlovu, said that it is important for Malawians to get into the routine of knowing their blood pressure status. He believes that in doing so, it will help to reduce the number of deaths as a result of high blood pressure in the country. Ndhlovu further says that high blood pressure can be managed if people watch their diets, exercise, and take their medication as necessary (Andsen, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at Malawi: Go for high blood pressure testing


Namibia: 30% Of Deaths Due To Heart Diseases 

In Namibia 30% of deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Simon Beshir, who is a cardiologist at the Roman Catholic and Windhoek Central hospitals, also said that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 30% of all hospital admissions and 30% of health care costs. High blood pressure, if left unchecked and untreated, can result in heart failure, stroke or kidney failure. In Namibia, Dr. Beshir says that heart diseases are mainly caused by unhealthy lifestyles such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and being physically inactive. Due to the fact that Namibia is such a large country, and most of the specialized services are in located Windhoek, the distance to these services can be life threatening in situations when a patient has a heart attack. Across the world 20% of people who have a heart attack die before they reach the hospital; Dr. Beshir estimates that in Namibia this number is higher (Kapitako, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at Thirty percent of deaths are due to heart diseases


Zambia: Prioritizing Nutrition For Socio-economic Development 

The President of Zambia, President Edgar Lungu, says that his country has made significant investments in nutrition interventions to reduce the disease burden and deaths from malnutrition. The president also advocates for efforts to address lifestyle diseases among women of childbearing age. He said that the government is prioritizing nutrition because it will help to achieve a healthy and productive population, and will in turn increase social and economic development. By 2030 Zambia’s goal is to become a middle-income country. Other interventions include an e-voucher system to support small farmers to grow their food production and contribute to food security at both the local and national level. The government has collaborated with several ministries to ensure access to diverse food options. Additionally, the government has called for bringing together nutritionists, lawmakers, fitness coaches, the church, and other stakeholders to tackle health issues such as obesity that result in chronic conditions (Zande, 2018). 

For more information check out this article at Zambia: Investing in Nutrition a Priority-Lungu  



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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