The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate, says non-communicable diseases are becoming more prevalent as a result of ageing and changes in the lifestyle of people.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. The main types of NCD are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
“Non-communicable diseases are more prominent, partly because we are ageing, partly because of lifestyle changes – that needs to be accounted for,” he said Monday during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
The health minister attributed the prominence of non-communicable diseases to certain transitions Nigeria is undergoing in various areas.
“Nigeria is going through multiple transitions all at once. It is undergoing a demographic transition with a population that is youthful. At the same time, it’s ageing and the structure of our population is changing gradually,” he said.
“We are having an epidemiological transition whereby the patterns of diseases that we have had for the last several decades are gradually giving way to other new diseases.”
Prof Pate’s comments follow his unveiling of the health ministry’s four-point agenda in Abuja on Saturday aimed at ensuring that the sector delivers improved healthcare to Nigerians.
He stated that the ministry would improve the effectiveness of health governance in Nigeria and minimise political interference, adding that there is a lot of potential for improvement in healthcare deliverables for Nigerians.