Calls to declare Non Communicable Diseases national disaster

Amref Health Africa has called on the national government to declare Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) a national disaster due to the high number of deaths and hospital admissions recorded in the country.

The Amref Country Director, Meshack Ndirangu said  over 50 percent of deaths in the country are related to NCDs and that up to 70 percent of deaths globally could be from the same by 2020.

He added that most deaths from the diseases occur among people below the age of 40 due their poor eating habits and intake of highly processed foods and beverages.

Mr. Ndirang noted that deaths occurring in the country as a result of NCDs have surpassed the margin that was caused by HIV during former president Mwai Kibaki’s regime when the latter was declared a national disaster.

The Nyeri Deputy Governor, Caroline Karugu said NCDs should declared a county disaster, noting that out of 10 people who die in the region, 8 of them succumb to non-infectious illness.

The leaders called the government and county administrations to develop programs aimed at pushing the enrollment of NHIF to ensure it is accessible to all and especially the most vulnerable in the society for easy access to health services.

The two were speaking during the 2nd Universal Health Conference in Nyeri.

The health sector is among the ‘Big Four’ government’s agendas.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally with 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 according to a report by World Health Organization (WHO).

Over 85% of these “premature” deaths occur in low and middle income countries.

WHO points cardiovascular diseases to account for most NCD deaths, with 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.0 million), respiratory diseases (3.9million), and diabetes (1.6 million) according to a report delivered in January 2018.

Tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from a NCD the report indicates.

Detection, screening and treatment of NCDs, as well as palliative care, are key components of the response to NCDs.

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