O. Olukoya - Editor-in-Chief
Globally, human development in the varying spheres of life has birthed several consequences that has caused nutritional, demographic and epidemiological transition which has significant impact on population health.1 This public health challenge particularly impacts Africa where it affects the population by causing chronic, non-infectious diseases not hitherto observed in this region. This chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) includes hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease in addition to diabetes just to mention a few.2 These highlighted diseases in addition to the traditional scourge of infectious diseases has placed a double burden of disease on an otherwise poorly funded health care system in Africa.3 This write up intends to stimulate awareness about the burden of NCDs in Nigeria while looking at the readiness of the national health system to control and treat non-communicable diseases.
This group of diseases results from a mixture of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors with pronounced dangers because of its chronic nature. Annually, its global mortality is 40 million people, which accounts for 70% of global deaths. Approximately 40% of these deaths occur among people aged between 30 and 69 years, while 80% of these early deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Of all NCDs cardiovascular disease accounts for about 40% of all deaths annually while cancers, respiratory diseases and diabetes account for 22%, 10% and 4% respectively. These four diseases similarly account for over 80% of all premature deaths.4