Nigeria: More Nigerians Will Die of Cancer, Stroke than Malaria, and HIV By 2023
A new report entitled: ‘Dissemination of Research Findings Programme Agenda and Analysis of Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention Policies in Africa’ inaugurated by African health scientists said deaths from non-communicable diseases, particularly, cancer, stroke, diabetes, hypertension among others will increase in Nigeria in the next seven years.
A Think-tank group, conducting research on policies for the prevention of diseases in Nigeria and Africa, said in Abuja yesterday that “the diseases will kill more than malaria and HIV that were previously feared for having higher casualties.” It argued that the situation remains dicey as Nigeria does “not have a strong health system that could actually absorb and treat people very well,” advising that “people should desist from lifestyles that encourage the diseases.” Leader of the group and Professor of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Prof Oladimeji Oladepo, enumerated lifestyles that promote cancer and stroke conditions to include alcohol intake, consumption of tobacco products, lack of regular exercise and poor nutrition. Director, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, who was represented by the National Coordinator, Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr. Nnena Ezeigwe, blame the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on globalisation and industrialisation festering on Nigeria for so many years. According to Ezeigwe, globalisation and industrialisation have not only brought about development but have also imposed new lifestyles and risky behaviours such as unhealthy nutrition, overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, harmful or excessive alcohol intake and use of tobacco upon people. “These have consequently led to increased incidence of NCDs, especially heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes, contributing significantly to social, economic, and health consequences.