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The state of Non-Communcicable Diseases in The Gambia
02. November 2017 at 13:45
by Zermen Bojang
A healthy society is an inevitable asset for any country's political, socio-cultural and economic development. More specific is the need to put non communicable diseases at the center of National Health Policies. The Gambia does not have strong policy guideline and framework to effectively tackle the NCDs as much attention and resources are channeled to reducing infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB. Consequently, there is a growing number of annual NCD-related deaths due to poor health systems, lack of awareness and little budgets for interventions areas.Crippled by low funding from International agencies, there is need for the government in consultation with all stakeholders to explore quality, cost-effective and sustainable policies and programs that is geared towards preventing and controlling high incidence and death rates on NCDs in the country.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) otherwise called silent
killers are the second largest category of diseases accounting for 32% of
proportional mortality rates in The Gambia. (WHO
- Non-Communicable diseases country
profile 2014). The four main NCDs with their risk percentages for both male
and females are as follows:

Tobacco smoking- 17%

Alcohol consumption: 3.4%

Raised blood pressure: 32.9%

Obesity: 7.9%

Almost all the NCDs including those highlighted above are primarily linked to either lifestyle behaviors or genetic factors. Luckily, there are means to prevent the incidence of some that are related to lifestyle patterns through proper nutrition, physical activity, etc. as well as a well-established integrated quality healthcare system.

Although significant efforts have been made to reduce morbidity
and mortality rates among the communicable diseases, the little attention accorded to NCDs only exacerbate disease burdens and death rates. Therefore, the government needs to strengthen its collaboration with various stakeholders to develop an integrated National health plan. Exploring more cost-effective strategies and policies to address NCDs in The Gambia will be an crucial to advance the health standards of the country.
A healthy population spurs development!
Together we can achieve it!
Cite This Article As: Zermen Bojang. "The state of Non-Communcicable Diseases in The Gambia." International Youth Journal, 02. November 2017.

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