Non-Communicable Diseases

Dr P Maesela

It is imperative that we counter the rise and prevalence of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. The non-communicable diseases have become endemic and seriously threaten the wellbeing of the nation. These are life style diseases that are mediated by the way we are influenced to live in this modern society, eating highly refined food, junk food, couch potato syndrome and little or no exercise.

We need to make screening for these diseases mandatory so that they can be detected early and remedial steps taken to curb or contain them.

These diseases like high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes are the highest causes of death after HIV/AIDs and TB. Because of the chronic nature of these diseases, they will bankrupt the state if urgent steps are not taken to influence our life style and what we eat, especially what we give our children to eat. We must strictly control what our children eat as this leads to obesity and/ or malnutrition if not controlled.

Physical exercise should be made mandatory at schools and encouraged in our communities.

We must address social and economic determinants of ill health and also design and implement a mass mobilizing strategy focussing on healthy options to curb this scourge of non-communicable diseases.