Friday, September 23, 2011

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV fight for resources in Kenya

via PlusNews Global

"NCDs are sexy now, last year it was maternal health; there doesn't seem to be a genuine commitment by government to fully address any of these issues... where are the results? The government must not forget about people living with HIV," said James Kamau, coordinator of the Kenya Treatment Access Movement. "Where is the 15 percent they promised - that way, we could improve treatment of all illnesses."

The crowd of health issues jostling for a share of Kenya's inadequate health budget is expanding, with activists calling for an increase in resources for the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which account for more than 50 percent of hospital deaths and admissions.

"We need to see more commitment in terms of resources; we have policies and guidelines for the management of non-communicable illnesses, but we need strategic focus on operational implementation," said Andrew Suleh, medical superintendent of Mbagathi District Hospital in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

According to the NGO, NCD Alliance, NCDs are responsible for more than half of all hospital admissions and deaths; 13 percent of deaths are due to cardiovascular disease, while cancers account for 7 percent and diabetes for 4 percent of deaths, respectively.

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[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

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