World Health Organisation Director General Dr Margaret Chan
The number of East Africans living with high blood pressure and diabetes is drastically increasing, says a World Health Organisation report released on Wednesday.
It points out that though the trend is common to other developing and developed countries, it must not be taken for granted.
The WHO’s World Health Statistics 2012 Report, includes data from 194 countries and has been released ahead of the World Health Assembly which begins in Geneva on Monday next week.
It states that one in three adults worldwide has raised blood pressure and one in 10 suffers from diabetes.
In its Africa survey, the report indicates that smoking, high alcohol intake and less physical activity is putting more men in East Africa in harms way
“This report is further evidence of the dramatic increase in the conditions that trigger heart disease and other chronic illnesses, particularly in low-and middle-income countries,” the Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan. “In some African countries, as much as half the adult population has high blood pressure.”
An increase in obesity is also highlighted as a major health risk. In all parts of the world, women are likely to be more obese than men, making them more vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, yet in East Africa, more men die from heart diseases than women.
“Women from the wealthier urban segment are more likely to be obese than their counterparts from the poorer urban category and from rural areas,” it says.