Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases refer to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health consequences and often create a need for long-term treatment and care. These illnesses do not spread from person to person, they take a long time to develop and do not present symptoms in the early stages.
There are several diseases which fall into this group of conditions. The main types of non-communicable diseases are:
- Coronary heart disease,
- Cancers, and
- Chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma).
NCDs are diseases of long duration targeting men, women and children and people in all income groups. One of the most serious concerns about Non-Communicable Diseases is that they affect people in the productive years of their life. Non-Communicable Diseases are a leading cause of premature mortality.
The annual Global Week for Action on NCDs campaign seeks to bring attention to NCD prevention and control
According to the World Health Organisation, 41 million people die every year due to an NCD, accounting for over 70% of all deaths worldwide. But the deaths from NCDs are projected to escalate to 52 million – 75% of all deaths – within just eight years, by 2030. Although the burden is universal, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are hit the hardest, NCDs disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries where more than three quarters of global NCD deaths – 31.4 million – occur.
In Cameroon, chronic diseases accounted for 848.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2002, corresponding to 43% of all deaths.
The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets. The epidemic of NCDs poses devastating health consequences for individuals, families and communities, and threatens to overwhelm health systems.
The Global Week of Action on NCDs in 2022 aims to get a message across to governments, donors, international agencies and private sector. The 2022 theme puts the focus on investment for prevention: “Invest in NCDs today, save lives and money tomorrow“.
The imperative to change the global architecture of NCD treatment is not only ethical, but economic: morbidity and mortality from non-communicable diseases strains healthcare systems, removes people from the workforce, and places an enormous burden on younger generations (often young women) who must cut their education or careers short to act as unpaid caretakers for their parents and grandparents. Investing in better management of NCDs is critical.
Klarah is glad to join the global community to fight against this cankerworm that looms large in our society. Since its inception, Klarah has made it a mission to bridge the gap between the patient and primary care providers, who are in the frontline in the fight against non-communicable diseases.
By providing affordable and comprehensive health care which targets detecting, screening and treating NCDs, Klarah aims at reducing deaths from chronic disease by helping families, individuals and communities diagnose and manage the diseases early.
Non-communicable diseases affect us all, they cause nearly 3 out of 4 deaths globally – and billions of people live with one or more NCDs, many of which are preventable. But we can do something to turn the tide, let’s join the movement today, shun modifiable risk factors and engage in active contributions in the fight against NCDs. We can invest today to save lives tomorrow.