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NCDs deaths surge

Local News
John Mangwiro

NON-COMMUNICABLE diseases (NCDs) contributed 37% of deaths in Africa in 2019, rising from 24% in 2000. 

African countries have struggled managing most NCDs as they are termed lifestyle diseases, making them expensive to manage. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2nd African Regional NCDs Conference in Victoria Falls yesterday, Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro said the COVID-19 pandemic had further complicated the situation. 

“This conference brings our attention to the urgent need to tackle NCDs as espoused in the National Health Strategy 2020-2025,” Mangwiro said.

“It also presents an opportunity for us to take stock and share lessons we have learnt in implementing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Package of Essential NCD interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings with other participating member States from our Region.”

World NCD Federation regional co-ordinator, Davison Munodawafa said: “The conference provides an opportunity for public health practitioners, researchers and policy makers to deliberate on lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying interventions for closing the implementation gaps, strengthening primary health care and research agenda to inform future NCD interventions.”

WHO’s NCD team attending the conference is sharing and promoting the recent World Health Assembly resolutions on NCD prevention and management and other interventions.

WHO Zimbabwe country representative, Alex Gasasira said the conference provides opportunities to strengthen integrated and person-centred NCD prevention, treatment and care.

“We expect the conference to come up with key recommendations on evidence-driven and innovative ways of operationalising existing global and regional policies and strategies which includes the WHO NCD best buys and other cost-effective interventions,” Gasasira said. 

Seven African countries are participating at the conference alongside key health stakeholders such as civil society health partners and donors.

Other participants include NCD prevention, surveillance and management experts from ministries of health, top researchers and academia from Universities in the WHO African region and beyond.

The conference ia running under the theme: NCD prevention, surveillance and management to achieve SDG 3 in the context of COVID-19 and other health emergencies.

The main goal of the meeting is to share experiences regarding the latest advances and trends in NCD prevention, management and surveillance within the context of COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies including HIV/Aids.

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