Government spends over $14 annually on NCDs

ZAMBIA – The ministry of health has warned against statistics surrounding 40 million people worldwide dying as a result of Non-Communicable Diseases NCDs which is costing the nation around $14. 5 billion equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s GDP.

According to Zambia Non-Communicable Diseases Investment Case Report, the risk factors for NCDs are tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity among others.

Speaking during the launch of the NCD investment report in Lusaka Thursday morning Ministry of Health permanent secretary administration Dr Kennedy Malama says that NCDs cause morbidity and mortality in individuals between 30 years and 69 years adding that this puts human capita at risk.

Ministry of Health permanent secretary administration Dr Kennedy Malama – Picture courtesy of Phoenix FM

“NCDs and the behavioral risk factors associated with them are increasing challenges to health and development in Zambia. NCDs are responsible for 29% of all deaths in the country, and 62% of those deaths are premature, occurring in people below 70 years of age.

In Zambia 19.1% of the adults population have raised blood pressure, 23% of men currently smoke tobacco, 16.8% of men engage in heavy episodic drinking.” He said.

Meanwhile United Nations Resident Coordinator for Zambia Coumba Mar Gadio has reiterated that 30 percent of deaths in Zambia are caused by NCDs and has called upon the Zambian government to fortify sustainable finances in efforts to combat NCDs.

United Nations Resident Coordinator for Zambia Coumba Mar Gadio – Picture courtesy of Twitter

She has added the need for government to assist parliament to step up the fight against NCDs by putting policies and legislature in place.

“There’s need to raise awareness about the true cost of NCDs and the enormous development benefits of investing in the interventions of proven cost-effective.” She said.

By Ricky Mwakwa

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