Socioeconomic Impact Of Non-Communicable Diseases

<p style="text-align: justify;">Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) &ndash; the main four being Cardiovascular diseases, Cancers, Chronic respiratory diseases, and Diabetes- are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. NCDs place a significant burden on the population health and on the economic and social development.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">NCDs can cause a threat on the progress towards the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); specifically, target 3.4 of the SDGs, which calls for a one-third reduction in the premature mortality due to NCDs by 2030.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Additionally, the economic burden of NCDs threaten the achievement of other SDGs, particularly reducing poverty, inequalities, and hunger, as well as access to quality education and gender equality.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases</span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">NCDs have a devastating and long-lasting impact on one's financial security and on the national economic growth. <a href="Economic%20Impact%20of%20NCDs%20|%20Division%20of%20Global%20Health%20Protection%20|%20Global%20Health%20|%20CDC">In Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), NCDs often affect the people during their most productive years (30-69 years)</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">More than three-quarters of the global NCD deaths, i.e. 31.4 million, occur in LMICs. Consequently, when individuals with NCDs face tremendous healthcare costs and a restricted ability to work, their households struggle with increased financial risk.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">As a result, these high healthcare expenses and reduced productivity strain the developing economies and stifle social and economic development.</span></p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases</span></h3><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and die sooner than the socially advantaged individuals, as they are at a greater risk of being exposed to harmful products such as tobacco, unbalanced diets, and have limited or no access to good quality health services.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">This article was contributed by our expert <a href="">Valentine Kamau</a>.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Valentine Kamau</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. How can Africa&rsquo;s healthcare system be improved?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Following the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly urgent to develop Africa&rsquo;s healthcare system sustainably. Adoption of Africa CDC&rsquo;s new public health order in the five core areas will be a step in the right direction of improving Africa&rsquo;s healthcare system.&nbsp;</span></p><ul><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Strong regional institutions</strong> will guide priorities, coordinate policies and programs, and drive standard-setting and disease surveillance.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Regional organizations have a more significant role in pandemic governance</strong> by decentralizing institutions and having regional representatives in key agencies to ensure that the needs of each region are considered in planning central mechanisms such as surveillance systems. &nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Strong, high-level partnerships between</strong> donors and governments, public and private sectors, and public health institutions.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Investment in the public health workforce</strong> to diversify and strengthen skills and expertise to ensure health security on the continent.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Local production of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics</strong> to effectively address the continent&rsquo;s global health challenges. Africa will need to increase the local manufacture and production of medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics.</span></li></ul><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. Why are non-communicable diseases increasing?&nbsp;</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">The rise of NCDs has been driven by four major risk factors:&nbsp;</span></p><ul><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Tobacco use: </strong>It leads to 14% of all NCDs deaths globally among adults aged 30 years and above. Tobacco smoke is dangerous to the health of smokers and can be dangerous to those passively exposed. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which 250 are known to be harmful and more than 69 known to cause cancer.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Physical inactivity: </strong>It increases the risk of the four major NCDs &ndash; coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Globally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity; consequently, up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the population was more active.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Harmful use of alcohol: </strong>It leads to 3.3 million preventable deaths annually all over the world. Men (7.6%) are nearly twice as likely as women (4%) to suffer from deaths attributable to alcohol.&nbsp;</span></li><li style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Unhealthy diets: </strong>Diets consisting of mainly high-calorie and fatty foods have led many countries to experience the double burden of malnutrition, where undernutrition occurs alongside overnutrition.</span></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Valentine Kamau

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