The Association of Medical laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (ALMSN) Federal Capital Territory branch has expressed concern over the increasing rate of non –communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Non-communicable disease (NCDs) are diseases that are not transmissible directly from one person to another. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) they tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma and diabetes.
Chairman of the branch, Pastor Joseph Salifu David stated this yesterday during a free medical outreach organised by the association at Karumajiji community of Abuja to mark this year’s World Biomedical Laboratory Science Day.
The association offered free blood sugar, hepatitis, and malaria test and treatment to adults and children in the community.
“Here the prevalence of non –communicable diseases is projected to cause nearly 75% as many deaths as communicable, maternal ,prenatal and nutritional diseases by 2020. Among the most common non communicable disease , diabetes has emerged as a leading problem second to cardiovascular diseases,” he said.
He said an estimated 80% of non –communicable diseases deaths occur in low and middle income countries, adding that the World Health Organisation (WHO) projects that NCDS death will increase by 17% over the next ten years with the greatest increase happening in the African and the East Mediterranean region.
The lab scientists said addressing non communicable diseases in the country required ensuring a realistic legislative and policy framework to promote investments by governments and development partners in biomedical research and prevention, and development of cost effective and evidence based models that are culturally appropriate and resource-sensitive.
Others are development of biomedical research including genomic research which in turn provides networking opportunities for Nigerian biomedical research scientists , clinicians and social scientists and ensuring budgetary commitment to tackling NCDS among others.
Village head of Karumajiji , Chief Dauda Dogo thanked the association for the free screening and treatment saying that many members of his community could not afford to go to the hospital to access medical services.
A beneficiary of the free medical screening , Yakubu Danladi enjoined more organisations to extend the kind gesture to the community.