27 June 2007

Africa: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease Rise to Western Levels

Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are rising in poor countries, says the World Bank in a new report.

The report, "Public Policy and the Challenge of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases", calls for health ministers and funders in poor countries to focus on the "real cost" of treating diseases once only found in large numbers in western countries.

Non-communicable diseases tend to affect youth, a group "at the peak of economic productivity," according to the report. Treating young patients is costly because it may have to continue through the course of their lives.

Joy Phumaphi, vice president of the bank's Human Development Network and a former health minister in Botswana, warned in a statement that the increase in diseases like cancer and heart disease will place a strain not only on national health budgets, but also on families and caregivers.

"When a family member falls sick with a chronic illness, families in developing countries often tap into their meager savings, or sell what they own to cover the costs of care and lost wages," she said.

The report recommends governments in poor countries to focus on preventative care by promoting regular health care and healthy living. Governments should also budget for the rise in non-communicable diseases, it says.

Read the report


Countries Need to Prioritize Anti-Malaria Efforts Like SMC. Here's Why.

On November 17th, 2018, Chad was the last country to complete the 2017 SMC round. This marked the last 'implementation'… Read more »

Copyright © 2007 allAfrica.com. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.