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Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers, Others Responsible for 22% of Premature Deaths—WHO

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Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers, Others Responsible for 22% of Premature Deaths---WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for 29% of all deaths in Nigeria, while premature mortality from the four main NCDs; Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers, Malnutrition accounts for 22% of all deaths.

The WHO Country Representative, Walter Kazadi Mulombo at the 6th Annual Conference of the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists(ANHEJ) on Thursday in Nassarawa, noting that although the prevalence rate of some diseases are declining, some others are sky rocking.

Represented by the Field Presence Cluster Lead, Ahmed Khedr , the WHO country representative disclosed that
Nigeria bears the highest burdens of tuberculosis and paediatric HIV, while accounting for 50% of neglected tropical diseases in Africa. Although the prevalence of malaria is declining (from 42% to 23%), the country contributes 27% of global cases and 24% of global deaths.

Khedr explained that the poorest households are the worst hit by the impact of inefficiencies of poor health outcomes as they have limited access to essential health services, hence posing a huge loss to the economy. 

“There is no single pathway to UHC. All countries must find their own way, in the context of their own social, political and economic circumstances”. 

“But the foundation everywhere must be a political commitment to building a strong health system, based on primary care, with an emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion. 


Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers, Others Responsible for 22% of Premature Deaths---WHO

“Such health systems do not only provide the best health outcomes; they are also the best defense against outbreaks and other health emergencies. In this sense, UHC and health security are truly two sides of the same coin”. 

“For that reason, Nigeria’s Presidential Summit on universal health coverage in 2014 was a vital step. Its Declaration that was signed by Mr. President and all State Governors affirms that UHC is key to ensuring equitable access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Nigerians. 

“The declaration contains a 23-point statement which recommends greater commitment of all tiers of government to improving UHC and the institution of mandatory health insurance”.

He further explained that National Health Act (NHAct) has laid a firm foundation for ensuring UHC becomes a reality, through guaranteeing basic health services packages for all Nigerians for ensuring available predictable financing through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

He assured that the WHO within its mandate will continue to support the Nigerian health sector to further place health high on the political agenda of government, empowering audiences, giving communities a voice, and creating safe spaces for decision-makers and citizens to discuss challenges and co-create solutions that address health needs of the people. 

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