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

  • Nigeria: Access to Basic Amenities Will Reduce NCDs

  • The Five Cancers Affecting Women Globally 

  • South Africa: The Relationship between Depression and other NCDs

  • Malawi: Call to Action for More Cancer Services Funding 

  • Uganda: Low Response to Cervical Cancer Immunization 


Nigeria: Access to Basic Amenities Will Reduce NCDs

Mr. Egbujiobi, the president of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacist and Pharmaceutical Scientists in America, (NAOPPSA) said that providing basic social resources such as clean water and electricity will make a huge impact in decreasing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, and etc. (Owoseye & Adebowale, 2019). He further elaborated saying, “If they can’t drink water, if they can’t have electricity that allows them to freeze the food they cooked yesterday so it doesn’t get rotten it is not going to work” (Owoseye & Adebowale, 2019). Another medical doctor, Dr. Uche Aguwa, said that the current state of the healthcare system in Nigeria is also a factor that is contributing to the rates of NCDs in the country. She also said that the government needs to put more resources into the healthcare system so that they can have the right equipment to treat people. For example, there are many patients who live with heart problems but have never had an EKG before because the clinics do not have the equipment (Owoseye & Adebowale, 2019).

For more information check out this article at Premium Times Nigeria: Nigeria: Provision of Basic Amenities Will Reduce Non-Communicable Diseases in Nigeria – Experts


The Five Cancers Affecting Women Globally 

For a long time, infectious diseases resulted in the highest number of deaths (Abdulahi, 2019). Due to new research, improvements in medicine, and the development of safer practices, particularly in handling food products and in agriculture, these rates have seen a decrease. Now, there is a rise in NCDs such as cancers which are resulting in increased mortality rates. According to GLOBOCAN, an international agency that does research on cancer, globally in 2018 they found 18.1 million new cases of cancer and about 9.6 million deaths. In Nigeria, they found about 100,000 cancer diagnoses and 40,000 recorded cancer-related deaths in Nigeria. Out of the cancer cases diagnosed in 2018 globally, 8.6 million cases were diagnosed in women. The common cancers affecting women globally are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, and thyroid cancer (Abdulahi, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at The Guardian Nigeria: Five Common Cancers Affecting Women  


South Africa: The Relationship between Depression and other NCDs

Depression is often seen differently than other NCDs because of stigma (Pandey, Kulkarni & Gaiha, 2019). Many who suffer from this condition cannot access health services due to the lack of trained mental health care providers and adequate facilities. Additionally, low mental health literacy in communities and stigmatizing attitudes from providers are also barriers to care. There are similarities between depression and other NCDs. NCDs, like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, have common risk factors to depression such as tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity. Also, it’s important to note that the risk of NCDs is higher when poor mental health conditions exist (Pandey, Kulkarni & Gaiha, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at Inter Press Service News Agency: Depression is More than a Stigma


Malawi: Call to Action for More Cancer Services Funding 

Dr. Leo Masamba, who is the Cancer Specialist at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital In Malawi, advocated for more investment into cancer services at an event calling for more effort from the government, organizations, and other stakeholders (Kutengule, 2019). Women who were a part of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship welfare donated resources and K1 million to the Cancer ward of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. Dr. Masamba said that cancer services generally do not receive as many resources from funders in comparison to diseases like Malaria, HIV and Aids, and Diabetes. He argues that cancers services need more resources for treatment, more providers and facilities. He said that the women of Immigration and Citizenship have set an example that others should follow (Kutengule, 2019). 

For more information check out the article at All Africa: Malawi: Need for More Resources in Cancer Services


Uganda: Low Response to Cervical Cancer Immunization 

The 2016 report from the National Information Centre on HPV and cancer, showed that the prevalence rate of cancer was 33.6% in Uganda (Tumuhimbise, 2019). Researchers also found that 20% of women who have cancer suffer from cervical cancer. In October 2015, the government implemented a vaccination campaign and their focus was 10-year-old girls. The Cervical Cancer immunization project in Uganda consisted of two doses. Providers found that the young girls were not completing both of them, which resulted in them not having full protection from the virus. In Kakumiro, they found that 27% of the girls received the first HPV1 dose and 3% received the second dose of HPV2. In 2017, 16.5% of the women received the first dose and 20.5% received the second dose. In 2018, 52.6% received the first dose and 23.9% received the second dose. Providers found that Kakumiro had not been performing well in the vaccination campaign. Health providers identified misconceptions and poor information about the vaccine as one of the barriers to completing both parts of the immunization (Tumuhimbise, 2019). 

To learn more check out this article at Daily Monitor: Government Worried Over Low Response to Cervical Cancer Immunization


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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