Chronic diseases, sometimes called non communicable diseases (NCD) are a group of diseases that last for a longer period of time than the usual short lived infectious illness. They tend to be more common as one ages and includes illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. They are often also present for life and cause plenty of suffering and death.
A common thread underlying these chronic diseases is that of lifestyle. The new 21st century lifestyle of poor diets and no exercise has contributed to a growing number of people with chronic disease. In fact things are rapidly progressing that the estimation in Africa is that almost half of us will die from a chronic disease in the next 10 years as opposed to the current 28%
This sharp rise presents a massive challenge for the under resourced and fragmented health care systems in many African countries. The key to thus be kept safe and stay healthy is to take personal responsibility for your health. Make conscious decisions in the lifestyle you adopt and make sure to seek preventive health care. If you already have a chronic disease such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease, read the linked articles to learn about what you need to keep track of to stay well.
Always remember that with chronic diseases, the power is often in your hands to remain free or manage them appropriately.