BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA—The Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, HERFON, has declared diabetes as the top cause of deaths arising from non-communicable diseases, NCDs, in 2015.
HERFON, a non- governmental organisation, and publishers of the yearly Nigerian Health Review, at a pre-launch briefing declared that death through diabetes will account for 52% in 2015.
Unveiling highlights of its health indices for 20101, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of HERFON, Dr Ben Anyene, described Nigeria as the leading country with the highest number of diabetes among seven African countries which health indices were surveyed..
“Deaths from NCDs will increase by 24% by 2015 and deaths from infectious diseases, maternal and peri-natal condition and nutritional deficiencies combined will increase by 6%.
“Deaths due to diabetes are projected to increase by 52% by 2015. By 2015, 5 million Nigerians may die of NCDs,” he said.
Anyene stated further that the health review index soon to be released also indicated a heavy toll on the nation’s economy as a result of deaths arising from the impact of NCDs.
“The economic cost of NCDs in Nigeria in 2005 was $400million from premature deaths due to heart diseases, stroke and diabetes and by 2015, the economic cost will rise to $8billion from premature deaths due to NCDs,” he added.
The highlights of status of NCDs also indicated the prevalence of childhood obesity by 5%, with more girls affected, adolescent obesity, 3%, with more girls affected, the number of overweight women to rise b y 40% in 2015, while the number of overweight men is also expected to rise to 39% in 2015 from 29% in 2005.
HERFON called for urgent measures to reverse the above projections, making a case for early detection as well as change of life style of Nigerians.
It further called on government to increase spending on health infrastructure, among others.