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Ethiopia launches guidebook on non-communicable diseases

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday launched a non-communicable disease health communication guidebook and cancer educational materials for patients and caregivers.Diseases Prevention and Control (NPC) Acting Director at the ministry, Nebyou Negusu said the cancer educational materials would contribute to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

In the context of the epidemiological transition in Ethiopia, a double burden of the disease is already emerging with the mix of persistent infectious diseases and increasing non-communicable diseases and injuries. 

Non-communicable diseases and injuries are already major contributors to the high morbidity and mortality burden of the country.

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases is increasing, owing to lifestyle changes. 

Among these diseases, hypertension is the seventh leading cause of mortality. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer are the leading chronic diseases, with significant contribution to the overall mortality rate.

However, the burden of chronic diseases, including cancers and chronic kidney disease, is believed to be underestimated due to the lack of reliable data and the lack of disease registration systems such as a cancer registry or a chronic kidney disease registry.

Nebiyou noted that the materials would help to maximize the impact in behavioral change as well as social change in  the society on non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer.

According to Nebyou, the government is striving to create awareness on non-communicable diseases in collaboration with civic society organizations, NGOs and partners.

The book and materials will be distributed to all health institutions and partners, it was learned.

“These materials that we have been developing over the last few years in Ethiopia with our Ethiopian stakeholders are going to be great tools for health care providers to be able to explain and talk to patients about their cancer diagnosis,” American Cancer Society Global Capacity Development and Patient Support Managing Director, Kristie McComb said

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