Kenya launches a five-year national strategic plan for prevention and control of NCDs

KENYA – The ministry of health has launched a five-year National Strategic Plan for the Prevention & Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as the government moves to effectively deal with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the burden, especially in low-and middle-income countries, presents substantive challenges for the health systems.

In a speech read on his behalf by Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, the Cabinet Secretary said the development of the National plan 2021/22-2025/26 is informed by the need to strengthen comprehensive multi-sectoral response to the increasing NCD burden.

The Strategy places emphasis on population-wide prevention and control measures, as well as strengthening health systems for the whole continuum of care for NCDs,” observed the CS.

The launch of the strategic plan (2021/22-2025/26) comes in the backdrop of disturbing statistics indicating that NCDs account for nearly 46% of all deaths in Kenya.

Emerging data further shows that NCDs in Kenya are now occurring at younger ages and affecting those in the productive years of life, with over half of the NCD burden occurring to individuals aged less than 40 years and gravely affecting the most socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors.

The main types of NCD are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

NCDs disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries where more than three quarters of global NCD deaths, 31.4 million, occur as per WHO data.

These conditions are often associated with older age groups, but evidence shows that more than 15 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur between the ages of 30 and 69 years. Of these “premature” deaths, 85% are estimated to occur in low- and middle-income countries.

According to CDC, Today, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), are responsible for 7 out of 10 of deaths worldwide.

This launch comes hot on the heels of Gambia’s report revealing that in 2018, the country recorded 16,000 fatalities due to NCDs.

This accounts for 34% of mostly mortalities occurring from cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases and diabetes, with major risk factors being tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets.

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