3 December 2012

Gambia: Facts and Figures On Hypertension and Diabetes -Journalists Sensitized On Non-Communicable Diseases

The Director of health promotion and communication, Mr. Modou Njai noted that non-communicable diseases are of concern. NCDs are becoming a problem in both developed and developing countries. He said NCDs now top the agenda of any health meeting both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Njie commended the journalists and the health journalists for their commitment in the promotion of health.

In his presentation on the facts and figures about NCDs, he noted, on hypertension and diabetes, figures have shown that in 2011 and 2012 as at now, West Coast Region has registered the highest with 19,240 and 14,469 cases of hypertension; 1331 and 2276 for diabetes respectively. Figures indicated that in CRR both 2011, 2012, there are 8181 and 9948 hypertension cases respectively. On diabetes 2011 and 2012, figures show that there are 468, 558 cases respectively. Figures indicate that in 2011 NBR- East recorded 298 diabetes cases and 2012 recorded 358-diabetes cases.

In 2012, URR registered 10,517 hypertension and in 2012, 1022 cases. In 2011, 276 diabetes were recorded and 2012 records 556 cases.

Mr. Momodou Gassama, the Senior Health Promotion Officer at World Health Organization's country office, applauded the journalists for promoting health issues in their respective media houses. He said the doctors, hospitals own the outcome but the bigger work is the process and this has to do with everyone. He said NCDs are chronic and expensive to deal with. He stated that NCDs are projected to cost the world some $47 trillions by 2050.

Mr. Gassama noted that NCDs are driven by four key factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.

Mr. Lamin M. Sanyang, said health personnel have the knowledge but they cannot reach every doorstep to inform, but stated that with the power of the media, information can filter easily and it can be appropriate and accurate.

For his part, Dr. Jagne of the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital said communicable diseases are not only problems in terms of deaths but it imposes huge economic burden on both individuals and governments. He said they put more burden on people than infectious diseases. He said they are always at the end of the game. He said this training is very vital as far as non-communicable diseases are concerned.

He said if a person is living with non-communicable disease, he/she would need counseling, treatment, support, and according to him, investigation every month with our economic strength is costly. He said at that time, the target organ is damaged and the cost is exorbitant. Dr. Jagne noted that people think having diabetes is luxury while they do not mind how to take good care of themselves and how to manage with the disease. Dr. Jagne noted that the developing world is battling with lot of diseases, because we have not dealt with the infectious diseases yet compared to the developed world that are battling with communicable diseases. Dr. Jagne urged the journalists to be the mouthpiece in disseminating information on health issues.

Dr. Bojang also tasks the journalists to uphold their responsibility and inform the populace as usual. He said people are out there who need the information but how to get the relevant information can only be easy with the efforts of the media practitioners.

Mr. Sheriff Badgie of the health promotion and communication department chaired the event. He also echoed the problems attached to non communicable diseases.

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