Fighting non-communicable diseases in East Africa: assessing progress and identifying the next steps

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a rapid increase in non-communicable disease (NCD) burden over the last decades.

Christian Kraef - Scientific Lead Officer at the Danish NCD Alliance

The East African Community (EAC) comprises Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda, with a population of 177 million. In those countries, more than 40% of deaths are attributable to NCDs. The research committee of the East Africa NCD Alliance has last week published a review of the status of the NCD response and a list of recommendations for the next steps in the BMJ Global Health. The review is based on the World Health Organization's NCD progress monitors in 2017 and 2020 and the EANCDA's own policy benchmark survey in 2017. The authors describe some notable progress in governance, risk factor prevention, surveillance and health system evaluation over the past six years. Many policies, however, only exist on paper and implementation of policies is uneven across the region. The EANCDA research committee recommends strengthening of integrated primary health care systems, involving civil society and People Living with NCDs in policy making and a strong coordination on a regional level to accelerate the fight against NCDs.

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