By Chioma Obinna
With a total of 39.5 million people dying annually due to Non Communicable Diseases, NCDs, Nigeria is striving to achieve the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which seeks to reduce by 25 percent cases of all premature deaths from NCDs by 2025, and by 2030, reduce by 33 percent overall premature mortality from NCDs and promote mental health and well-being.
In a related development, the Federal government is soon to kick off a National Survey as part of strategies to stem the menace of NCDs.
This was evident last week, as members of the Nigeria NCD Alliance gathered a team of public health experts, Non-Governmental Organisations working on non- communicable diseases and other stakeholders in Lagos to deliberate on how to tame the increasing cases and deaths from the major four NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes through strengthening the nation’s health system.
Available statistics have shown that NCDs are the No.1 cause of death and disability worldwide and account or for 68 per cent of global mortality and this means that two out of every three deaths are due to NCDs.
Despite these revelations, Nigeria is yet to set a national target for any of the diseases.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos, President of the Nigerian NCD Alliance, Dr. Sonny Kuku, argued that achieving the global target of 25 percent global target to lower premature death by 2025 would be difficult in Nigeria for now.
To meet these global targets; Kuku recommended early detection especially before age 50 for hypertension and not at 70 when the heart is already damaged.
He explained that the workshop is to sensitise the civil society organisations and the Non-governmental organisations to become advocate of NCDs especially those who have their goals related to NCDs.
“To kick start the process of bringing this epidemics under control, what we have done really is to send questionnaires to all of them and a selected few both the government and private sector, we are going to collate and also look at the goals and target set by the global NCDS and WHO and how we can enable people in this country to get these targets right.”
Kuku said the country needs concerted effort properly planned to prevent disease, create more awareness and make management of NCDs free.