From September 6-12, the CBC Health Services and other Cameroon Civil Society NCD Alliance members joined the rest of the international community to commemorate this year’s edition of the Global Week for Action on NCDs. Activities focused on the theme, “Community Engagement,” emphasizing the power and potential of communities to co-create healthier societies.
Reports say, Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the world’s biggest killer and a global public health challenge. Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, mental health diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and other NCDs are responsible for over 41 million deaths every year. This burden will increase by 17% in the next decade. In Cameroon, NCDs account for 35% of annual deaths.
The Global Week for Action on NCDs highlighted the need for a whole-of-society approach, moving beyond individual efforts to collective practices. While individuals can screen regularly and adopt lifestyles that reduce their exposures to developing NCDs, they can also form patient advocacy groups to promote their involvement in decision-making. In addition, local communities can institute general sports days, car-free days, and designate days for screening as part of collective efforts.
The CBC Health Services echoed this clarion call in working with persons living with disabilities from the Coordinating Unit for Associations of Persons living with Disabilities for the Northwest region to organize health talks, health walks, and sporting activities at the Baptist Center Nkwen, Bamenda, on September 10, 2021. Radio talk shows, awareness raising on social media, health education in churches, mosques and free screening for diabetes, hypertension, and obesity in health facilities also marked this weeklong event.
“I encourage my fellow persons with disabilities and everyone else to join the action because we are all exposed to NCDs. Disabilities can increase the risk of developing NCDs, and NCDs can lead to disabilities,” Desmond Nji, representing the CUAPD advised.
Other key stakeholders at the event included representatives from the Northwest Regional Delegations of Public Health and Social Affairs. They joined the CBC Health Services and her partners to admonish the general population to initiate individual and collective actions to stamp out NCDs, which are killing more than many other communicable diseases.