Need for a multi-factorial, multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary approach to NCD prevention and control in Africa
Global Health Promotion 17(2 Suppl): 31-32
The increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries is a big challenge to the governments, which are still struggling with a myriad of communicable diseases (e.g. malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS). There are common risk factors for the four major NCDs in Africa (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease [CVD] and chronic respiratory infections), which are: obesity; lack of physical activity (PA); tobacco consumption; and inappropriate use of alcohol. Furthermore, NCDs are determined by individual and societal level factors, and the general socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions (e.g. agriculture and food production, education, working and living conditions, transport, housing and unemployment) which can be addressed by use of health promotion. Thus, in order to address the multiple factors comprehensively, there is need for multi-pronged approaches that bring together multiple disciplines, sectors and partners focused on addressing NCDs in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner.