Rapid urbanization in Africa has been linked to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Urbanization processes have amplified lifestyle risk factors for NCDs (including unhealthy diets, tobacco use, harmful alcohol intake, and physical inactivity), especially among individuals of low and middle social economic status. Nevertheless, African countries are not keeping pace with the ever increasing need for population-level interventions such as health promotion through education, screening, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as structural measures such as policies and legislation to prevent and control the upstream factors driving the NCD epidemic. This chapter highlights the NCD burden in urban Africa, along with the social determinants and existing interventions against NCDs. The chapter concludes by offering insights into policy and legislative opportunities and recommends stronger efforts to apply multisectoral and intersectoral approaches in policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring at multiple levels to address the NCD epidemic in African cities.
Part of the book: Public Health in Developing Countries