Sierra Leone: Report indicates rise in Non-Communicable Diseases

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Sierra Leone’s Head of the Directorate of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Santigie Sesay has said in Freetown that: Non Communicable Diseases have increased the proportion of Mortality and disabilities in the West African country.

He was speaking on Tuesday, April 16th, this year at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s Conference Hall, Youyi Building in Freetown.

Dr. Sesay said up to 10 causes of deaths were recorded in 2017, in the country which are related to Non-Communicable Diseases, adding that the burden to curtail the NCDs is diverse as he said 4.8% was recorded for Chronic Respiratory Diseases; 3.2% for Diabetes; 18.4% for Cardiovascular Diseases; 7 % for Mental Diseases, 7.1 % for Digestive Diseases; and 7.3% for Neurological Disorders.

He highlighted the Physical Inability caused by Tobacco Use, Harmful Use of Alcohol, High Salt Intake, Raised Blood Pressure, Diabetes (type 2), Obesity, Ambient Air Pollution, and Household Air Pollution as the risk factors of Non-Communicable Diseases in Sierra Leone.

He further referenced the 2009 SREPS Survey which highlights tobacco use, inadequate consumption (less than 5 servings) of fruits and vegetables per day, Low level of Physical Activities as combined risk factors of Non Communicable Diseases in Sierra Leone among people.

Dr. Sesay said 27.2% males within the age brackets of 25-44 Years captured in the survey have three or more combine risk factors with the females accounting for only 18.6%. The same survey, he said, captured up to 39.9% male risk factor and 33.6% females in the age brackets of 25-64 years.

However, the Coordinator for Partners In Health (PIH) Medical organization, Dr. Marta Lado said the prevalent clinical cases are NCDs related with 19% escalation rate.

She said since the inception of the Non-Communicable Diseases Clinic in February, 2018, they had so far seen/managed cases on hypertension, diabetes, chronic heart diseases, chronic kidney diseases, chronic liver disease among others.

She reported a spike in the number of NCDs diagnoses which increased in the second half of the year, adding that the clinical records showed a spiral of one thousand, six hundred and four (1,604) NCDs cases in 2016, two thousand three hundred and forty-four (2,344) in 2017, two thousand nine hundred and four (2,904) in 2018 and a mortality rate of one hundred and fifteen (115) representing (7.1%) in 2016 and one hundred and eighty-four (184) representing (7.8%) in 2017 in Kono District.

 

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Abu Bakarr Tarawally is a Journalist based in Freetown. He works for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer. He has once served as Editor for a few newspapers in Freetown, including Sierra Express Media, The Exclusive Newspaper and his own newspaper, the Daily Express Publications. He is a teacher trainer, and loves writing and reading a lot. Email: abstarawally@gmail.com. Call +232 88601277 or +2327661303.

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