Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also classified as chronic diseases, cannot be passed from one person to another. These include cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, diabetes, mental health disorders and sickle cell disease.
Primarily, NCDs can be attributed to four major risk factors consisting of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, use of tobacco and an excessive consumption of alcohol. People across all age groups are susceptible to these risk factors, but a higher percentage of NCD related deaths occur among people aged between 30 to 70 years. Around the globe, NCDs account for the death of about 41 million people each year, with 85% of these deaths occurring prematurely (between the ages of 30 and 70 years) in low- and middle-income countries. Nigeria, a lower middle income country is disproportionality affected by NCDs, specifically cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
In 2013, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) developed the National Policy and Strategic Plan of Action. The Plan of Action was revised in 2019 resulting in formulation of the National Multi-Sectoral Action Plan (NMSAP). The main difference between the 2013 and 2019 action plan is the move from exclusively focusing on the health sector as the sole means of controlling risk factors associated with NCDs.
To find out the provisions within the NMSAP and what Nigeria is doing (or not doing) to address the burden of NCDs in Nigeria, read the policy brief below.