HEALTH MINISTRY WARNS AGAINST NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

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Health Minister, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie
NCD Director, Dr. Santigie Sesay and Dr. Marta Lando

During a meeting held on Tuesday 16 April at the MoHS Conference Hall, Youyi Building the Director at the Directorate of Non communicable Diseases and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Santigie Sesay stated that the proportion of Mortality and disability due to Non Communicable Diseases in Sierra Leone are on the increase.
Dr. Sesay reiterated that a number of top 10 causes of deaths in the country in 2017 were recorded for Non Communicable Diseases and he continued that the burden of NCDs in the country is diverse in which he catalogued 4.8% for Chronic Respiratory Diseases, 3.2% for Diabetes, 18.4% for Cardiovascular Diseases, 7 % for Mental Diseases, 7.1 % for Digestive Diseases, 7.3% for Neurological Disorders.
Dr. Sesay in his presentation highlighted Physical Inability, 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 Activity as combined risk factors of Non Communicable Diseases in Sierra Leone among people. Director Sesay also stated that the survey further captures ages 25-44 Years of people with 3 or more combined risk factors in which males account for 27.2% and females 18.6%. The same survey captures ages 25-64 years of people for the same risk factors puts Males at 39.9% and Females 33.6%.
In a related development, Partners In Health’s (PIH) Medical Coordinator, Dr. Marta Lado did a presentation on the progress made so far in the Non Communicable Diseases Clinic at the Koidu Government Hospital in which she noted that the most prevalent common cases admitted at the clinic are NCDs related which account for (19%).
She recalled that 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 continued that the proportion of NCDs diagnoses has also increased in the second half of the year, adding that they recorded 1,604 NCDs cases in 2016, 2,344 in 2017, 2,904 in 2018 and a mortality rate of 115 (7.1%) in 2016 and 184 (7.8%) in 2017 in Kono District.

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