News / Africa

Cancer, Heart Disease, Other Non-Communicable Diseases on Rise in Developing World

The World Health Organization reports non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers now are more prevalent in developing countries than in the richer countries.  WHO is hosting the first Global Forum on Non-Communicable Diseases to map out strategies for combating this growing danger.  

The World Health Organization warns the problem of non-communicable diseases in the developing world is big and growing bigger.  It says diseases once thought of as diseases of the rich now have shifted to the poor and disadvantaged.  

WHO director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, says people in low and middle-income countries are increasingly getting sick and dying from heart disease and stroke, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental disorders.

She says poor countries can ill afford to pay the costs of chronic care.

"Developing countries-they are still struggling with infectious diseases and weak health systems," she said.  They face grossly inadequate numbers of staff, shortages of medicines and funds, and a sometimes total lack of insurance schemes to protect patients from catastrophic health care costs.  Weaknesses in public health services drive patients to the most costly, often unregulated private sector, even for routine care."  

The World Health Organization reports 40 percent of the estimated 35 million yearly deaths from non-communicable diseases is premature.  It says many deaths from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and asthma are preventable.

Dr. Chan notes many people also suffer from diseases such as diabetes and asthma that often require life-long care.  She notes these diseases are not part of the ageing process.  

She says they often begin in childhood.  She says hypertension and some cancers also can occur in children and young adults.

"Moreover, this is a world in which an estimated 43 million pre-school children are obese or overweight.  Think of what this means in terms of life-long risks to their health and the life-long costs of care.  And, one other thought, this could be the first generation of children…in a very long time, that has a life expectancy shorter than that of their parents," she said.   

Dr. Chan cites tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol as the four big risk factors.  She says many of the diseases caused by these factors can be prevented through changes in life style.

She urges countries to enact measures that make it easier for people to adopt healthy lifestyles.  She says non-communicable diseases can be managed, treated and sometimes cured.  But, prevention, she says is likely to bring the greatest gains.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid