Health

“Africa rising” and the shifting disease burden

My thoughts:

So from my Global Health Class by a former World Bank Director, I can definitely assert with some authority that the repercussions of the disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, are more dire than they sound. We are actually suffering a “double burden of disease” one in which government’s are going to have to navigate combatting some communicable diseases that still ravage Africa especially (eg: malaria, NTDs, etc.) and non-communicable diseases that are increasing at alarming rates (eg: Cancer currently 4th leading killer in some Sub-Saharan African countries and incidences projected to rise sharply by 2030. Like I said before, without trying to sound alarmist, the repercussions are dire. And we are not helping ourselves at all by our oblivion to it, the lack of adequate awareness, government’s not looking for contingency plans and resources to take care of non-communicable diseases which are much more expensive to deal with! Hell, we cannot even pay up the expenses of dealing with out burden of communicable illnesses! We are also not doing a great job of modifying our diets (especially traditional meals) to healthier options. Even worse, is the influx of chains of Western fast-food restaurants, all in the name of “investment”! honestly, I have always been adamant about our receptiveness of KFC in Ghana, where a bucket of unhealthy oliy fried chicken costs 50Ghana cedis???!!! Whoa! That’s a lot of money by average Ghanaian standards. In fact, it is approximately equivalent to $25. Unbelievable. We tend to do more harm than good for ourselves because of a lack of foresight and vision. It makes you wonder who is truly running the helm of affairs in our respective nations and what kinds of degrees they received from university! Smh. I do not mean to insult anyone here but seriously, we need foresight and good governance. We need to protect the health of our people. They are all we have got.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

In recent years, there has been increasing attention in academic and policy circles to the problem of non-communicable diseases in Africa. Some have gone so far as to identify a “shifting disease burden,” wherein conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are taking over from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis as the most serious medical problems facing the continent. It is true that diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases are on the rise in Africa. Indeed, non-communicable diseases are expected to overtake communicable diseases as the continent’s leading cause of death by 2030. There are several dangers, however, to simplistic narratives of a shifting disease burden.

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