Numbers of people affected by NCDs to keep increasing

11Feb 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Numbers of people affected by NCDs to keep increasing

HEALTH experts in the country have appealed to the government to strengthen its capacity and accountability in preventing and controlling non communicable diseases (NCD).

The need comes due to the fact that the number of people affected by NCDs was rapidly increasing.

According to the research conducted by the then ministry of health and social welfare in 2008, almost 27 percent of youths aged 25 to 35 years are in a risk of getting NCD.

These are highly contributed by the unhealthy life style among the people especially the youths.

Some of these diseases are cardiovascular, hyper tension, kidneys, diabetes, tuberculosis and cancer.

Secretary of Tanzania Diabetes association (TDA) Dr Kaushak Ramaiya said that the government’s response to the prevention and treatment of NCD’s would be successfully if the following three requirements will be met.

He mentioned them as an overriding political/legal mandate which exists for multi-sectoral action, multi-sectoral governance process and mechanism.

Ramaiya further said that the availability of adequate staff with the needed skills was a pre-requisite for the implementation of any successfully programmes.

“It is high time for the government to empower officials working in the ministry of health, community development, gender, elders and children to work with their counterparts in other ministries to ensure multi-sectoral coordination of key policies are implemented,” he said.
He detailed that the established unit for prevention and treatment of NCDs within the ministry of health needs to be funded and provided with dedicated staff with the requisite skills and capacities.

Ramaiya further noted that experts undertaking NCDs need both technical skills in the discipline of public health, political and communication skills necessary to work with other sectors, including the private sector.

According to him effective implementation of population-wide required the emphasis to shift from information and health education to legal, fiscal and regulatory action by the government.

In another development, Tanzania public health association (TPHA) secretary Dr Bertha Maegga said there was a need to strengthen advocacy and put NCDs prevention and control at the top of the national agenda.

She further noted that government was suppose to generate evidence to support claims of the raising burden of NCDs and their implication to the health care systems and the country’s economy.

She called upon for the government to establish/strengthen a mult-sectoral NCDs policy frame work as an integral part of the National Vision 2025 and the national strategy for the growth and reduction of poverty.

Professor Ayoub Mgimba, from the ministry of health and social welfare said NCDs were reported to be number one causes of death and disability worldwide and was therefore one of the major health and development challenges of the 21st century.

He said already health experts have formed a ministerial committee that will oversee and ensure NCDs are controlled and treated.

According to him, the committee involves the ministries of health, industry and trade, agriculture and livestock development and other stakeholders like the Tanzania Bureau Standards (TBS). Elaborating more, he said nearly 38 million people die yearly from NCD worldwide.

He said most of those deaths are caused by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, mental health and neurological disorder. “The burden of disease is going to increase from 38 million deaths to 44 million deaths by 2020 if necessary measures are not taken,” Prof Mgimba cautioned.