More young people under 25 years are increasingly being affected by diseases that were previously associated with the old, health advocates have warned.
They blamed this on rising tobacco use, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets.
Speaking in Nairobi on Friday at a meeting convened by lobby Coalition of Youth Advocates, the professionals said young people might soon be the face of non-communicable diseases in Kenya.
Coya is a Nairobi-based lobby that advocates for the reduction of youth NCDs in Nairobi County.
“A lot of awareness needs to be done on steps needed to be undertaken to prevent non-communicable diseases,” said Mercy Kamau, a programme officer with Jhpiego, a Nairobi-based non-profit health organisation affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University
Kamau said more should be done to improve screening for non-communicable diseases if Kenya wants to make any headway.
“The probability of dying young in Kenya due to NCDs now stands at 18 per cent,” she said.
Other factors identified by the Coya forum as contributing to more NCD cases include poor coordination and enforcement of control programmes and poor financing.
Kamau stated that there is a serious need to roll out universal health care so that more people can be reached and treated.
NCDs coordinator for Nairobi County Dr Victor Kibe said the county has identified facilities where people with NCDs can be enrolled.
“The county government has provided facilities and enrollment into care and management for those suffering from non-communicable diseases.” Dr Kibe said.
Currently the world has nine NCD targets to be achieved by the year 2025. These include cutting reduction of tobacco use by a third, reducing physical inactivity by ten per cent, reduction of alcohol use and salt intake.
Other targets include increasing the availability of medicine and drug therapy
First Published by the Star