Novartis: 300,000 premature deaths a year in Ethiopia are due to chronic disease

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A new report by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, has revealed that almost 300,000 premature deaths a year in Ethiopia are due to chronic disease like diabetes, respiratory and health conditions. The report presented on Thursday further stated that over four in ten Ethiopians will die due to a non- communicable disease.

“Non- communicable diseases are a significant concern in Ethiopia, particularly in rural areas,” Dr. Nathan Mulrue, Cluster Head of Novartis for South- East Africa, said. “Hypertension, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease are three of the four most prevalent non- communicable diseases [in Ethiopia].”

According to him, non- communicable disease are projected to cause almost 70 percent of Ethiopia’s disease burden, up from 17 percent in 1990. The announcement came amid concern for widespread unhealthy lifestyle both globally and in Ethiopia as well.

Researches indicate that the impact of non-communicable diseases is not well-documented in Ethiopia. The four major non-communicable diseases in Ethiopia are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The associated risk factors are said to be hypertension, tobacco-use, harmful use of alcohol, overweight/obesity and khat-chewing.

Novartis announced that it will implement its Access Program in Ethiopia with 15 on and off patent medicines to dirve a step change in access to medicines. “The portfolio is offered as a basket at a price of USD 1 per treatment per month to governments, NGOs and other institutional customers.”

By Ethio Newsflash Editor

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