The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that from 2011-2025, cumulative economic losses due to NCDs under a “business as usual” scenario in low- and middle-income countries is estimated at US$ 7 trillion.
WHO estimates the cost of reducing the global NCD burden is US$11.2 billion a year, an annual investment of US$ 1-3 per capita.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 38 million people each year and almost three quarters of NCD deaths (28 million) occur in low and middle-income countries.
Also, 16 million NCD deaths occur before the age of 70; 82% of these “premature” deaths occurred in low and middle income countries. Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.5 million people annu-ally, followed by cancers (8.2 million), respiratory diseases (4 million), an diabetes (1.5 million). These four groups of diseases ac¬count for 82% of all NCD deaths, WHO said.
Furthermore, tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from an NCD, it said.
Tobacco accounts for around six million deaths every year (including from the effects of exposure to second-hand smoke), and is projected to increase to 8 million by 2030. Also, about 3.2 million deaths annually can be attributed to insufficient physical activity and more than half of the 3.3 million annual deaths from harmful drinking are from NCDs.
Four out of five chronic disease deaths are in low and middle income countries and a third are in people younger than 60 years, says The Lancet.
Definitely, NCDs are no longer diseases of affluence because the risks from NCDs are greatest in poor and developing countries.
Governments at all levels are encouraged to double their efforts in ensuring that Nigerians do not suffer and die unnecessarily from both communicable and non-communicable diseases. “People ignore the NCDs and do not take it seriously whereas a lot of people die from it even in Nigeria. Recently, someone close to me just died from diabetes and another I know died from a heart attack. Gone are the days when people thought AIDS was the major thing that killed, you will be shocked at the way people die of NCDs these days. The government must sensitise the public on these and more”, says Wale Ajayi, a medical practitioner.
In order to avoid mishaps and loss of lives, urgent government action is needed to meet world¬wide goals and reduce the saddle of NCDs and as a result, avoid the annual death of 16 million people impulsively before the age of 70 from either heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes and so on says a new report, according to WHO.