Diseases cost Africa $2.4 trillion yearly –WHO

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The World Health Organisation has launched a new report titled: “A Heavy Burden–An Indirect Course of Illness in Africa” at the second Africa Health Forum in Praia, Cape Verde.

“This report will help to establish a link between ill health and gross domestic products building upon a growing body of evidence, it presents country specific data in terms of the loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2015 so that every country can see where they are and improve,” Dr Grace Kabaniha, the health economist at WHO Africa, and one of the developers of the report, said.

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Non-communicable diseases are driving the loss in GDP, by 37 percent of the total loss while communicable diseases come up at least 36 percent, followed by parasitic diseases, maternal, neonatal and nutrition-related conditions, and injuries, according to the report. NCDs, which include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, stroke, and diabetes, are now the leading killers on the planet, causing 7 in 10 deaths globally.

The African continent alone account for 42 percent of the global loss in GDP. The WHO estimates that nearly 630 million years of healthy life were lost in 2015; due to the diseases burdening its 47 member-states in Africa, amounting to a loss of more than $2.4 trillion from the region’s gross domestic product value annually.

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“Despite all the losses due to illnesses, the good news is that if the countries act collectively and achieve their sustainable development goal targets, these losses would reduced by almost 47 percent,” WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said.

When it comes to service access and effective spending Cape Verde came tops as the best performing country with efficient health spending.

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