Nigeria to curb non-communicable diseases

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Nigerian government has been advised to take bold steps to eradicate non-communicable diseases in the country.

This was the crux of discussions at the communiqué meeting on analysis of non-communicable diseases Prevention Policies in Africa, hold in Abuja.

The meeting also called for increase in taxation on goods and services that cause non-communicable diseases.

Prof. Oladimeji Oladepo led the meeting on analysis of non-communicable diseases prevention policies in Africa.

He said “the impact of NCDs on Nigeria economy is high because it is a deliberate ironic set of diseases and therefore needing a lot of money to treat, unlike the conventional communicable diseases like diabetes and cancers. They are rising and so is the cost of prevention. We have a lot of data now that suggests that both the incidence and the prevalence of these diseases are rising in the country,” he said.

Nigeria is said to contribute significantly to the global burden of non-communicable diseases.

Based on this, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the African Regional Health Education Center, Department of Health Promotion and Education, University of Ibadan with funding support from the African Population Health Research Center, Kenya and the International Development Research Center have all conducted a policy analysis research study titled “Analysis of non-communicable diseases prevention policies in Nigeria”.

The study is designed to analyse the extent of multi sectoral approach in NCDs prevention policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria, using an explanatory and descriptive methodology.

The communiqué meeting on analysis of non-communicable diseases prevention policies in Africa sets up a committee to draft the communiqué.

The communique committee was chaired by Dr. Stephen Alayo.

While presenting the draft communiqué, Dr Alayo said that the committee has worked tirelessly to come up with the communiqué.

The communiqué pointed out various ways to prevent non communicable diseases in the country and also made recommendations.

Prof. Oladimeji Oladepo, who was the leader of the meeting on Analysis of non-communicable diseases prevention policies in Africa said that he hoped that the communiqué would be implemented.

Prof. Oladimeji Oladepo also said “funding the support for formulation of NCD policies and implementation is very low and that constraints the opportunity to deal frontally with non-communicable diseases.”

The Meeting on Analysis of non-communicable diseases prevention policies in Africa also says it is working towards meeting the World Health Organization’s recommendation which says all countries must have an NCD plan by 2018.

Omolayo.A