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Article on NCD burden for policy-makers

By Christine Ngaruiya | 13 Oct, 2015


I am sharing an Op-Ed piece I've written pegged around the SDGs that was published in "The Hill" today, Washington's number one circulated publication on Capitol Hill.
In solidarity,

Christine Ngaruiya, MD, DTM&H
Section of Global Health and International Emergency Medicine
Department of Emergency Medicine
Yale New Haven Hospitals
MSc candidate, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2015

+1 203-997-5882



Thomas Moore Replied at 2:20 PM, 31 Oct 2015

Thank you for sharing this article. There has been so much effort put towards the elimination of infectious disease such as TB, HIV, and malaria, little has been done for NCD's. The fight against infectious disease isn't over by a long shot, but NCD's are growing in prevalence throughout the world. As people live longer and less are afflicted by communicable disease, they fall victim to the development of NCD's due to urbanization and westernization of low and middle-income countries. Instead of putting aside the concern of infectious disease, we can use the lessons learned from communicable disease prevention and create a movement against NCDs. Whether that is by lumping individual afflictions as "NCD's" or treating each disease as it's own movement. There are current movements to fight against NCD's such as NCD alliance and NCD Free, but we need to make our voice louder for policy makers to hear the concern. The United Nation's discussion towards mental health and injury is a start, but the louder the flight against NCD's will be, we will see more happen in the form of policy change.

Denali Dahl Replied at 5:24 AM, 14 Dec 2015

Thank you for sharing your article Dr. Ngaruiya. I agree that attention needs to be focused on the growing burden of NCDs on the global scale, particularly with attention towards preventative efforts. I think a big part of the focus on communicable disease relief is that with communicable diseases it's easy to see the immediate benefit because the morbidity and mortality are quick acting compared to NCDs. Addressing NCDs requires a much longer-acting, sustained form of delivering health care. Combating NCDs also requires a significant amount of lifestyle change in terms of what individuals and communities consume and do on a daily basis--these changes are more difficult to bring about then administering a vaccine. I believe that piggybacking off of a lot of the HIV/AIDS infrastructure to address chronic care and NCD control will help provide LMIC and impoverished parts of developed countries receive the NCD health care required.

Kabir Abdullahi Replied at 11:54 PM, 14 Dec 2015

Although change is brought about easily WHEN the changing processes are
mere seen. In the Case of NCDs it is much like cumbersome approach. Because
when people are informed of been susceptible to one of the NCDs they reply,
"Am ok, and I don't feel nothing after all it is been long am doing and
nothing happen". Sometimes one feels stucked. Unlike the communicable
diseases which obviously whose symptoms are seen in a short period of time.
So it is really a challenging process that requires sustainability.

Florence Tushemerirwe Replied at 4:05 AM, 17 Dec 2015

Hi Thomas and Denali,

I agree with you. We have a lot to learn from the control of communicable
diseases and use the lessons to prevent, manage and control NCDs. The
HIV/AIDS control infrastructure in Uganda is great to use an example. We
have to invest time, will and finances to set up some parts of it, like -
awareness creation/behaviour change communication, having
organisations/Institutions that focus on NCDs, setting up community
diagnostic and treatment centers, I think we shall get there.

To Kabir, I also agree with you, that is the attitude of our people. This
blog should live to change such attitudes. As long as people feel well -
they never associate wellbeing to being free of such conditions. I have met
people - some close relations who were told to modify their lifestyles
because they were hypertensive, and obese, but up to today (20 +++ years
later), have not done much and are still alive. It is hard to convince such
people that they are at a high risk of getting Diabetes, Cancers,
Cardiovascular heart disease and more in that line, since they have lived
like that for some time.

Either way, we can make a change, starting from our world.

Merry Christmas to you all!


This Community is Archived.

This community is no longer active as of December 2018. Thanks to those who posted here and made this information available to others visiting the site.