Tanzania: Let's Live Healthy Lifestyles to Control Silent Killer Diseases

THE government has continued improving health services in the country to ensure Tanzanians from all walks of life improve the quality of their lives.

The improvement of health services is reflected in services offered at big hospitals, health centres and dispensaries in various parts of the country.

In the past, some patients with complicated conditions would be referred to overseas hospitals, but this has changed over the years after the government improved health services in the country.

For instance, improvements that have been made at Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) show souring success in the treatment of heart conditions.

On Friday, JKCI received a modern cardiac ablation machine from the government of the People's Republic of China.

This was revealed by JKCI Executive Director, Prof Mohamed Janabi, during the launch of the China-Tanzania Heart to Heart Medical Mission in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Besides this, a joint heart surgery camp was also launched. This arrangement is the first of its kind as far as heart treatment is concerned in the country.

According to Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu, the China-Tanzania Heart to Heart Medical Mission is going to bear much fruit in the sector of health, especially improvement in the treatment of heart conditions.

We can go on enumerating roaring successes in Tanzania's sector of health, but it suffices to say that we are moving in the right direction as far as improvement of health services in the country is concerned.

What is still needed though is adequate investment in the health sector, training of local health practitioners so that we may have enough specialists to treat complicated cases and develop a culture of going for check-up and get medical advice especially on how to avoid non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are silent killers of many people.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 per cent of all deaths globally and that each year, 15 million people die of an NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years, over 85 per cent of these "premature" deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

WHO further notes that heart-related diseases account for most NCD deaths or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.0 million), respiratory diseases (3.9million) and diabetes (1.6 million).

So, we shouldn't underestimate the impact of NCDs, especially cardiovascular diseases. Actually, what happens at global level should make us act on it at local level.

It is only in doing this, that we can prevent NCDs and ensure we live quality lives.

With the investments we are making in our country we have to ensure we live longer to benefit from them. So, we have every reason to have healthy lifestyles, which will guarantee our quality of life.

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