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

Tanzania: Improving Training for Healthcare Providers 

Mauritius: National NCD Prevention Campaign 

Namibia: Stigma Is A Barrier to Cancer Diagnosis

Tanzania: Cancer Institute Screening Program 

Kenya: National Strategy for Preventing and Controlling Non-Communicable Diseases


Tanzania: Improving Training For Healthcare Providers 

In Tanzania, a new education project for health providers was launched to improve health services (The Citizen, 2019). This program is called the ‘Transforming Health Professionals Education in Tanzania (THET). The goal of this project is to improve health education training for healthcare providers who serve both urban and rural populations. This project has emerged during a time when the government is now focusing on streamlining healthcare delivery services. Another goal of this project is to create a standardized competency-based curriculum. For a long time, there was not a common training curriculum for healthcare providers which resulted in providers having inadequate skills to deliver quality care. Healthcare stakeholders are optimistic that this project will improve the delivery of health services (The Citizen, 2019).

For more information check out this article at The Citizen: Education Project to Help Improve Health Services


Mauritius: National NCD Prevention Campaign 

On February 23rd, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life spearheaded a national prevention campaign against Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) (The Republic of Mauritius, 2019). The goal of this campaign is to promote early detection and treatment of NCDs through education, screening, and counseling. Another goal of this campaign is to educate the public about risk factors for NCDs, it impacts and how to combat it. Specifically, it includes health screenings for conditions like breast and cervical cancer and cholesterol. Lastly, it includes counseling and health education for the prevention and treatment of NCDs (The Republic of Mauritius, 2019).

For more information check out this article at Government of Mauritius: National prevention campaign against NCDs launched at Camp Levieux


Namibia: Stigma Is A Barrier To Cancer Diagnosis

Rolk Hansen, the CEO of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), spoke to the media about barriers to outreach for cancer screenings and education (Kapitako, 2019).  He said that stigma has been one of the major barriers to educating people about cancer and getting people to seek screenings and treatment. Because of stigma, many people do not talk about cancer. This makes it challenging for women to seek screenings because of the stigma of talking about cancer. In addition, gender norms can delay help-seeking behavior in men (Kapitako, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at New Era Live: Stigma in villages a barrier to cancer diagnosis


Tanzania: Cancer Institute Screening Program 

Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) is increasing the fight against cancer through a cancer screening package (Shekighenda, 2019).  The goal of this program is to increase the diagnosis of cancer and also prevent the disease during the earlier stages. The director of the Cancer Prevention Services, Dr. Kahesa, said that this program will give patients the opportunity to be screened for a variety of different types of cancers. Dr. Kahesa said that cervical cancer was the leading cause of death among women, and Kaposi sarcoma was the leading cause of death among men. Annually, 52,000 people were diagnosed with cancer. The director said that this program has received positive feedback and has improved cancer prevention services. The outreach for this program has grown from three regions to eight regions in the past three years (Shekighenda, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at Daily News: Cancer Institute Intensifies Fight Against Deadly Disease


Kenya: National Strategy For Preventing And Controlling Non-Communicable Diseases

As Kenya’s economy began to rise, and the nation became a low-middle-income country, non-communicable diseases also began to gradually increase (Kariuki, 2019). Cancer ranks third as the leading cause of death in the country. The most common cancers are breast, cervical, esophageal, prostate and colorectal cancer. The Kenyan National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Disease 2015-2020 and the Kenya Vision 2030 social pillar was created to promote healthy living for Kenyans. The five key focus areas of this strategy are “prevention; screening and early detection; diagnosis, registration and surveillance; treatment, palliative care and survivorship; coordination, partnership and financing; and monitoring, evaluation, and research” (Kariuki, 2019). 

For more information check out this article at Daily Nation: We can contain, manage rising burden of communicable 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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