WASHINGTON—A study on the global burden of disease published in The Lancet last month suggests that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are fast becoming the biggest health problem in middle- and low-income countries, especially in Africa. The rise of chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease was a heated topic of discussion at a gathering of US and African leaders in Washington DC earlier this week.
There is no dearth of warning signs that NCDs are taking over as leading causes of death in Africa. For every death due to HIV in 2005, cardiovascular disease killed five others in Africa. We know now that by 2015, chronic diseases will account for a quarter of deaths in Africa, according to World Health Organization estimates.
GlobalPost spoke with Tom Achoki, a physician and panelist at the Corporate Council on Africa event held on Monday, to understand what needs to be done to handle the alarming increase of NCD deaths in Africa.