“Facing the Future : Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa” reviews current practical efforts to address NCDs in African countries
LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Royal Philips (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG) (http://www.philips.com) today released its latest Fabric of Africa Trends Report called “Facing the Future: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa” (http://www.apo-mail.org/140219.pdf), showcasing recent successes made by countries in Africa to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases (NCD’s). The report was launched at the Africa Healthcare Summit (http://www.africahealthcaresummit.com) which is currently taking place in London.
Download the report: http://www.apo-mail.org/140219.pdf
The number of annual deaths from NCDs in Africa is predicted to rise by more than a quarter over the next 10 years, driven mainly by economic growth and connected lifestyle changes and behaviors, including unhealthy diet, urbanization, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical inactivity. Philips’ 16-page report, “Facing the Future: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa”, provides an overview of the scale of the problem, and highlights how it is being addressed in different countries by healthcare professionals, policy makers, and non-governmental organizations.
Facing the Future discusses programs being conducted in a wide range of countries, including South Africa, Egypt and Uganda, and shows how the predicted rise in NCDs can potentially be detected earlier, halted, or even reversed through innovative solutions to overcome political, economic, clinical and technological barriers. These programs demonstrate how, with appropriate organization, public awareness campaigns, funding, and access to medical equipment and treatment, it is possible to provide effective care, even in remote areas, and make a real difference to people’s lives.
Highlights of the report, which incorporates the results of a range of recent studies, include:
• Recommendations to overcome the negative effects of observed nutrition transition in South Africa, namely the change in dietary patterns and nutrient intake during economic and social development
• Egypt is fighting diabetes in its country (the eighth highest prevalence of any country in the world) by promoting awareness through advocacy, providing workshops for health care professionals and assuming a crucial role to guide and inform other diabetes associations on the continent.
• Positive results for increasing role of community health workers in rural settings across the continent to slow down the rise in breast cancer mortality. A successful example in Ethiopia demonstrated that, by providing culturally sensitive support, it is possible to demystify cancer and break down the barriers of stigma that prevent many women from seeking help while their disease is still treatable.
• Exclusive insights from experts working in Egypt and South Africa who discuss conditions and treatments, and education initiatives, that are the continent’s unique cardiology challenges.
The report is commissioned as part of Philips’ ‘Fabric of Africa’ campaign (http://www.philips.com/FabricofAfrica), a collaborative campaign to drive public-private partnerships and to improve healthcare access across the African continent. The campaign reflects the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (specifically goals 4 and 5), focusing on three key areas: maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases (specifically breast, cervical & cardiac health), infrastructure rehabilitation and clinical training.
Speaking about the report, Peter van de Ven, Vice President & General Manager, Philips Healthcare Africa, said: “In 2008, nearly three million African deaths were attributable to preventable or treatable NCDs. That figure will rise by more than 25 percent in the next decade. Addressing this alarming increase in NCDs doesn’t require huge investment; proven programs delivered locally and cost-effectively using relatively low-tech devices and techniques – are the keys to resolving this growing challenge. I am proud that Philips, with its extensive 100-year legacy in Africa is helping to lead the way by developing and supporting a wide range of programs that quickly make real differences in peoples’ lives”.
Commenting on the findings in the report, Dr. Eric Silfen, Chief Medical Officer at Philips Healthcare states “Let’s adopt this report as our manifesto to speed simple, community-supported solutions in the areas of greatest need. Let’s tackle NCDs with the same urgency as we would any other kind of epidemic. Let’s conclude our unfinished business and bring 21st century health and well-being to Africa right now”.
You can download Facing the Future: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa here: http://www.apo-mail.org/140219.pdf
To find out more about the Philips Fabric of Africa campaign, please visit http://www.philips.com/FabricofAfrica.