Noncommunicable Diseases In East Africa Assessing The Gaps In Care And Identifying Opportunities For Improvement
Author: Trishul Siddharthan, Kaushik Ramaiya, Gerald Yonga, Gerald N. Mutungi, Tracy L. Rabin, Justin M. List, Sandeep P. Kishore, Jeremy I. Schwartz
The prevalence of noncommunicable diseases in East Africa is rising rapidly. Although the epidemiologic, demographic, and nutritional transitions are well under way in low-income countries, investment and attention in these countries remain focused largely on communicable diseases. We discuss existing infrastructure in communicable disease management as well as linkages between noncommunicable and communicable diseases in East Africa. We describe gaps in noncommunicable disease management within the health systems in this region. We also discuss deficiencies in addressing noncommunicable diseases from basic science research and medical training to health services delivery, public health initiatives, and access to essential medications in East Africa. Finally, we highlight the role of collaboration among East African governments and civil society in addressing noncommunicable diseases, and we advocate for a robust primary health care system that focuses on the social determinants of health.