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NCD Alliance urges Buhari to tackle challenges of persons with non-communicable diseases

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With more than 70 per cent deaths worldwide from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and over 60 per cent of People Living With Non-Communicable Diseases (PLWNCDs) out of jobs, NCD Alliance Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle job and health problems of people with the condition in Nigeria.

NCD Alliance revealed that three-quarters of these deaths from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetics, chronic respiratory disease, mental health occur in countries like Nigeria, with four out of five die before the age of 50 years due the country’s health care system and inability to capture people with the diseases on job platforms.

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During a media launch of PLWNCDs newsletter, on Tuesday, the President, NCD Alliance Nigeria, Dr. Sonny Kuku, said he is happy with the development and appreciates every concerned Nigerians who have been in the fight against discrimination and other problems faced by the people.

Speaking at the event, the executive director of NCD Alliance Nigeria, Prof. Akin Osibogun, stated that it is important for the government to recognise the expertise and experiences of people living NCDs in job placement and design platforms to include them in people-centred healthcare and decision-making processes.

The group, which has been at the forefront to ensure that persons living with NCDs are included in healthcare and job opportunities, noted that the newsletter which captures the plight of the people was produced by eight people living with the diseases, who were trained by the group, and drawn from four states in Nigeria.

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He said: “The trained persons went to work immediately to embark on advocacy visits to government at different levels, public awareness, produced a fact sheet on the diseases and on COVID-19 amongst other coordinated activities with the support of NCD Alliance Nigeria.”

Speaking with The Guardian at the maiden edition of the newsletter, Lawal Kallam, who is suffering from stroke, said the idea of the newsletter is to call on the government to consider job openings for the people because many have taken to the streets to seek succour from motorists. “I want the government to capture us in their plans for other citizens. We are also Nigerians. Many people are dying from these diseases every day. No one in the country can say there is no one in the family that has Non-Communicable disease….”

There should be public places that will accommodate everyone without discrimination. I will advise anyone living with this should keep hope alive and not to commit suicide,” she said

The editor of the newsletter, Mr. Michael Uchunor, in his reaction appealed to the President to put policies in place that would curb discrimination across all levels and build educational facilities for patients while encouraging people with the diseases to take the medication in order to increase their chances of survival.

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