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
Health sector reforms not only require attention to specific components but also a supportive environment. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), there is still much to be done on ensuring that people receive prioritized healthcare services. Despite LIMCs spending an average of 6% of their GDP on health, there have been minimal impacts compared to high-income countries. Health sector reform is a gradual process with complex systems; hence, the need for a vision and long-term strategies to realize the desired goals. In this chapter, we present our proposal to advance universal health coverage (UHC) in LMICs. Overall, our main aim is to provide strategies for achieving actual UHC and not aspirational UHC in LMICs by strengthening health systems, improving health insurance coverage and financial protection, and reducing disparities in healthcare coverage especially on prioritized health problems, and enhancing a primary care-oriented healthcare system.
Part of the book: Healthcare Access