COVID-19: Association raises concerns about non-communicable diseases burden

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By Oluwafunke Ishola

Lagos – The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), has warned that the country might experience a surge in non-communicable diseases burden after COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Tunji Akintade, Chairman, Lagos State Branch of AGPMPN, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

A non-communicable disease (NCD) is a disease that is not transmissible directly from one person to another.

NCDs include Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases, strokes, most heart diseases, most cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, among others.

Akintade said the country already had an alarming rate of patients with NCDs, adding that the patients were finding it difficult to get their medications due to increase in prices of medicine and shortage of supply at medical facilities and pharmacies.

“The impacts of the pandemic are keenly felt among populations with pre-existing conditions.

“Most of these patients had been burdened with out-of-pocket expenditure for managing the ailments.

“The crisis of COVID-19 pandemic is exerting more pressure on them as most of them cannot access medicine for these ailments, which is very dangerous to their health because complications can arise,” he said.

Akintade urged the Federal Government to liaise with importers of drugs to ensure adequate supply of medicine across the country.

“Government has access to information on imported drugs; liasing with the importers and manufacturers will reduce effect of hoarding that is being done by some unscrupulous people,” he said.

Akintade said that the high burden of NCDs in Nigeria was indeed alarming, hence, the need to plan ahead toward strengthening coordinated policies, strategies and programmes in the fight against NCDs.

(NAN)

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