Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are diseases that are not easily transferred from one person to another. According to Hunter DJ et al. (2013), about 41 million people die globally every year due to NCDs, with a significant 15 million deaths recorded in low and middle income countries (Sujha et al., 2018). In Nigeria, NCDs are the leading cause of death claiming the lives of 2.1 million Nigerians per annum (WHO, 2016).
Increased physical exercise, reduced salt intake, reduced tobacco and alcohol consumption, increased consumption of healthy foods and regular screening are some of the ways NCDs can be prevented. A 2018 WHO report stated that screening can reduce up to 80% of premature deaths caused by NCDs, placing it as one of the most effective modes of prevention. Regular screening helps in early detection of chronic diseases and would be instrumental in reducing the projected 52 million deaths by 2030 (WHO report, 2008).
With the burden of NCDs on the rise, what role would you play as an individual in reducing the burden of NCDs in your community? What are the necessary steps to be adopted by the government to prevent the increase in NCDs mortality rate by 2030?