Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In Nigeria

Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In NigeriaThe Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria has raised an alarm over increasing rate of Non-Communicable Diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension in the country.

The association stated this in Ado Ekiti at the 33rd National Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting themed: Non-Communicable Disease Burden: Health System Preparedness in Nigeria.

Speaking at the opening, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Dr. Olusegun Elegbede, blamed this on change in lifestyle of people and the economic recession.

According to him, there is evidence that NCDs are undermining the attainment of Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

“There has been growing burden of NCD and the World Economic Forum has reported it as leading macro-economic risk at global level,” he said.

The National Chairman of APHPN, Professor T.M. Akande, said the conference offered another opportunity to network and rub minds on burning public health issues in Nigeria and the strategies for advancing public health practice in Nigeria.

In a paper entitled, “Nigerian Health System Response to the Emerging Epidemics of NCDs,” the Guest Speaker, Professor Olanipekun Alausa, said chronic NCDs have become more prominent causes of illness, disabilities and deaths.

“In addition, changes in lifestyles and in the environment have increased the morbidity and mortality rates due to NCDs,” he said.

Recommending solutions, Alausa called for the strengthening of health systems with appropriate technologies in tertiary institutions.

According to him, the cost of management must be made affordable and heavily subsidised by the government and other health agencies.

“Affected people with diagnosed NCDs should seek hospital patronage early and desist from consulting and seeking for traditional and religious solutions in the first instance.

“The government should come to the assistance of patients, rather than the patients begging for donations on television stations and social media,” he added.

Community Medicine Expert Gives Tips For Reducing Risk Of Cancer

Emmanuel-Abioye-Kuteyi-Professor-of-Family-and-Community-MedicineA professor of Family and Community Medicine, Professor Emmanuel Abioye-Kuteyi, has raised concerns that of all the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that claim lives, breast cancer has the highest death rate.

Professor Abioye-Kuteyi made observation on Tuesday while delivering a speech at the 291st Inaugural Lecture of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Osun State, southwest Nigeria.

In the speech that centred on the “Population Health and Family Medicine; Reducing the Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Nigeria”, Professor Abioye-Kuteyi said that in 2012, 68% of all global deaths were from NCDs, 42% of which were premature or below the age of 70 years.

He told the gathering that about 74% of total and 82% of premature global NCDs deaths were from Low and Medium Income Countries of which Nigeria is one.

Change Of Eating Habits

“The WHO [World Health Organization] has estimated that 80% of heart and cardiovascular diseases, 90% of type-2 diabetes and 30% of all cancers can be prevented early by ‎a change of eating habits, smoking cessation and increasing physician activities,” he stressed.

The professor of Family and Community Medicine further stated that “the 2012 Globocan Annual Cancer incidence estimates showed that the five commonest cancers in Nigeria were breast cancer (26.7%), cervix uteri cancer (13.8%), liver cancer (11.8%), prostate cancer (11.7%) and bowel cancer (6.0%) while the five top cancer deaths were from the breast (19.5%), liver (16.3%), prostate (13.5%), cervix uteri (11.5%) and bowel (9.1%)”.

With this alarming figures, Professor Abioye-Kuteyi said it simply meant Nigeria now has another serious health risk at its neck, since it has been battling with communicable diseases till now.

This to him means the time to recognise NCDs, as a nation’s priority, since it is presenting a global and national burden, with associated risk among all social classes of the society.

He said: “NCDs and associated risks are not the problem of only the affluent and later life. Most NCDs and its related ‎premature deaths are largely preventable and the means to prevent and control NCDs are not only available, they are feasible and cost-effective.

“Only a combination of population-wide‎, family-focused and individuals’ intervention using cost-effective initiatives that strengthen the overall health system is capable of arresting and reversing the trend to reduce NCDs’ burden, improve population health outcomes, curtail expenditure and promote socioeconomic development”.

He, however, stressed the need for a national awakening to recognise the need for action, mount a commensurate national response, strengthen the national health system for appropriate response‎ is overdue.

“The time to recognise NCDs as a national priority and take timely action is now” Professor Abioye-Kuteyi cautioned.