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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61

Noncommunicable diseases: A double burden for African countries


Date of Web Publication17-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Elaine C Azinge

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1595-9587.169693

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How to cite this article:
Azinge EC. Noncommunicable diseases: A double burden for African countries. J Clin Sci 2015;12:61

How to cite this URL:
Azinge EC. Noncommunicable diseases: A double burden for African countries. J Clin Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jan 16];12:61. Available from: https://www.jcsjournal.org/text.asp?2015/12/2/61/169693

The Faculty of Clinical Sciences of the University of Lagos has just concluded a successful 12th Annual Faculty Conference and Gathering, held on June 10, 2015, with the theme “Globalization and the burgeoning noncommunicable diseases epidemic in Nigeria."

During this conference, the reality that noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, stroke, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer, which were hitherto thought to be diseases of the Western world, have silently and steadily crept into the African population with prevalence rates growing higher by the day.[1]

Infectious and nutritional diseases that unfortunately have always been with us as a result of poor living standards are now compounded by sedentary living as a result of urbanization, and noncommunicable diseases have emerged to become the order of the day.

The burden of noncommunicable diseases on the ailing economy of many African countries will be severe if this is not tackled on time. Those who come down with these disorders usually fall within the middle-aged, who constitute the workforce in these countries. Whereas 20% die from complications arising as a result of these disorders in the developed countries, an alarming 80% die from noncommunicable diseases in Africa.[1]

Another peculiar issue which must be looked into is the high degree of noncompliance to drug therapy which is associated with hypertension and diabetes in African countries. Workers have reported a high prevalence of hypertensive patients who were not on therapy for various reasons. Financial, cultural and ignorance ranked highly among these reasons.[2]

It is well-known that African workers receive grossly inadequate minimum wages compared to International benchmarks stipulated by the United Nations.[3] They are therefore not well-positioned to be able to comply with life-long medication, necessary to lessen morbidity and mortality in this group of people. This trend if unchecked will lead to depreciation of the active workforce of many African countries.

The continent has to grapple with infectious and nutritional diseases as well as this growing and silent killer creeping into destabilizing the already precarious workforce.

There is an urgent need for the National Health Insurance Schemes to achieve greater coverage to ensure affordable health services to all.[4]

In this edition of the JCS, we have published the abstracts from the Faculty of Clinical Sciences conference as well as six other articles which will make for interesting reading. We will step up our publications to quarterly, from the year 2016, so as to be able to disseminate more research findings to our numerous readers.

I thank the Dean and members of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences for making me Editor-in-Chief. I want to assure you all that with the able and enthusiastic editorial team which we have, the quality and profile of the journal will rise to enviable heights and add to the work of Professor JD Adeyemi, our indefatigable past Editor-in-Chief.

I also wish to thank our authors, brilliant crop of new reviewers, our readers and all who have contributed in no small measure to the success of this journal. I wish you all a happy reading.

  References Top

Non communicable Diseases. An Overview of Africa's New Silent Killers. WHO Regional Office for Africa on World Cancer Day; 2015.  Back to cited text no. 1
Amira CO, Okubadejo N. Factors influencing non compliance with anti-hypertensive drug therapy in Nigeria. Niger Postgrad Med J 2008;14:325-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Nwude EC. The politics of minimum wage in Nigeria. The unresolved issues. Asian J Empir Res 2013;3:477-92.  Back to cited text no. 3
National Health Insurance Scheme Decree No. 35. Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 4


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