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‘Africa loses N864tr yearly to diseases’

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World Health Organisation (WHO)

Africa loses more than $2.4 trillion (about N864 trillion) of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yearly to diseases afflicting its 47 member states.

It also lost nearly 630 million years of healthy life in 2015 to infirmities.

A recent estimate by the World Health Organisation (WHO), published yesterday, showed that Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania accounted for almost 50 per cent of the total years lost in healthy life.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have overtaken infectious diseases as the largest drain on productivity, accounting for 37 per cent of the disease burden, the report added.

WHO said around 47 per cent, or $796 billion, of this lost productivity value could be avoided in 2030, if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to these health conditions are achieved.

Perhaps, as a stopgap measure, the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) is planning to launch a private sector-driven HIV/AIDS trust fund to make treatment available.

This came as the wife of Oyo State governor, Florence Ajimobi, appealed for the elimination of every form of payment that hinders people from assessing treatment.

Director-general of NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu, and Mrs. Ajimobi made the remarks in their separate presentations at the opening ceremony of the fifth National Council on AIDS.

The three-day event is courtesy of the Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA) at Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has warned that if the internally-displaced persons (IDP) camps are not decongested and sanitation facilities improved upon, deadly cholera outbreak would return and further lead to displacement of vulnerable people.

NRC’s country director for Nigeria, Eric Batonon, stated this yesterday in Abuja.

Over 10,000 cholera cases were recorded in the Northeast in 2018, with more than 175 registered deaths.

The Norwegian country representative called on the Nigerian authorities to provide additional land for the decongestion and for construction of new water and sanitation facilities.

He also urged the international community to provide the necessary funding to respond quickly and efficiently to end the cycle of yearly cholera outbreaks in the region.


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