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WHO warns of alarming noncommunicable disease in Africa

Emerging diseases

The World Health Organization has sounded the alarm, saying that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer or hypertension have taken an alarming proportion in Africa.

The finding is contained in a report published on Tuesday. The document stresses that the bad habits related to modern urban life are the cause of the increase of these diseases.

A finding which has surprise authors of the report.

“We thought that the number of non-communicable diseases would increase in 20 or 30 years, but not that early,” said Abdikamal Alisalad one of the authors of the report.

The study conducted in 33 countries of the continent reveals that in 2030, the non-communicable diseases will kill more than AIDS and malaria in Africa . Adding that the majority of African countries are at least one of the risk factors for MNT, among which are the alcohol and cigarette smoking among others.

It says must therefore be a battle for industrialists to try to reverse the trend.

“In some countries, the rules related to alcohol are written by the industry itself. We, therefore, have a hard battle to conduct and must manage with the industry which has a lot of resources,” said Abdikamal Alisalad one of the authors.

From the figures given, 46% of Africans, for example, suffer from hypertension, the highest rate in the world. While the number of smokers increases each day by 5 to 26%.

WHO supports Member States to develop and implement comprehensive and integrated policies and strategies for the management of the main chronic noncommunicable diseases. These include: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, oral health, chronic respiratory diseases and sickle cell diseases.

Diabetes is expected to become the seventh global leading cause of death by 2030. In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths worldwide and statistics indicate that the risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double that of their peers without diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, constant hunger, marked weight loss, increased excretion of urine, altered vision and fatigue.