By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole has revealed that Non Communicable Diseases, NDCs, which is number one killer globally accounts for $7 trillion economic losses with 71% of all deaths.
Adewole gave this figure yesterday in Abuja at High Level Meeting on NCDs multisectoral Action Plan involving other ministries in the country.
In a power point presentation, on the National NCD Multisectoral Action Plan (2019-2023), Adewole explained that in Nigeria, NCDs which through globalization is now common in Nigeria and it is the second killer.
He said, “NCDs are a group of diseases that cannot be transmitted from one person to another and in Nigeria such diseases as Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, mental health conditions.
“Others are mental, neurological and substance use disorders, sickle cell diseases, violence and injuries.”
The minister said that sadly most people get to know that they have NCDs very late but the good news is that it can be prevented majorly through reduction of tobacco use.
Low and Middle income countries including Nigeria account for 31.5 million of NCDs related deaths with premature mortality between the ages of 40- 70 years.
The World Health Organization, WHO, Country Representative who was represented by Dr. Rex Manzaje who commended the NCDs technical working group explained that in 2016, 41million out of 57million deaths, 71%, were attributed to NCDs with 15 million of these deaths termed as premature deaths.
Manzanje listed the four main NCDs responsible for over 80% of the deaths as Cardiovascular Diseases (e.g. heart attacks and stroke), Cancers, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (e.g. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma) and Diabetes.
The common main risk factors are tobacco use, use of alcohol, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet, Manzanje said.
According to him, Control of NCDs was also included into the 2030 Agenda, with specific targets towards reaching the sustainable development goals.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Abdullahi Mashi said that due to globalization emphasis has shifted to NCDs like stroke with increasing morbidity and mortality.
Mashi said that Nigeria is over burdened with both communicable and non communicable diseases.
He called for multisectoral harmony in every sector in the country to ensure that cities are remodelled to accommodate sidewalks to reduce accidents.
National Coordinator for NCDs at the Federal Ministry of Health, , Dr Nenna Ezeigue , told newsmen that the High Level Meeting on NCDs was meant to bring together other ministries into the multisectoral action plan for NTDs.
She said that the risk factors in preventing NCDs cannot be tackled by the health ministry alone, adding that there is need for cooperation and understanding of other ministries.