Paper Example. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Published: 2023-07-12
Paper Example. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Disorder Public health Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1765 words
15 min read

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) include conditions such as heart disorders, brain disorders, cancerous cells, and accidents-related illnesses that are not transferrable from one patient to another (Preston, Waugh, Larkins, & Taylor, 2010). People's lifestyles are the leading cause of many of the NCDs. The main types of noncommunicable diseases are chronic respiratory diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, and diabetes. (Atiq, 2017). Despite the lack of transferability from one individual to another, NCDs are fatal. Statistically, they are amongst the top 10 leading causes of fatality globally, and in Pakistani (Khan et al., 2018). The use of tobacco, lack of exercise, and use of alcohol increase the chances of contracting the disease.

Non-communicable diseases are among the significant public health issues. Studies have shown that these problems majorly affect minority groups and low-income earners. The economic, physical, social, and physical environments where this group of people lives are the primary influencers. Since these diseases pose a threat to the affected populations, public health departments need to formulate effective strategies to combat the problem. For maximum positive effect, the communities that are affected need to be involved in tackling the problem. Reputable organizations such as the World Health Organization have realized the importance of involving the communities. Research conducted in Islamabad, Pakistan, reveals that non-communicable diseases predominantly affect people living in low-income neighborhoods as opposed to those in high-income ends (Nishtar, 2004). With this in mind, continued participation in health education by both the community and the government is vital to create awareness of the severe effects of non-communicable diseases.

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According to the 2018 statistics released by the Centre for Disease Control, more than 41 million people die of non-communicable diseases globally. This represents 71% of all global deaths. More than 15 million people who are aged between 30 and 69 years die from NCD, and most of these deaths occur in low-income populations. The leading killer is cardiovascular diseases followed by cancers and respiratory diseases. These four groups of diseases account for 80% of all premature deaths. The use of tobacco, lack of physical exercise, and the use of alcohol increase the chances of contracting these diseases. People of all ages and regions can contract these diseases though they most affect older people. (Khan et al., 2018). Therefore, children and adults are at risk of contracting the disease if they take unhealthy diets, do not engage in physical activities, or if they are exposed to tobacco smoke and the use of alcohol.

The governments must engage the communities with the aim of alleviating the problem. It is essential for the young and the adults to have a clear understanding of the risk factors of NCDs so that they can be in better positions to prevent them. Many young people can easily access information, and they can act to that information in shaping their health and that of the communities where they come from. The community should be involved so that they can provide novel perspectives on the NCD control and prevention of the diseases. Through the use of young people, governments can share information on the risk factors and other ways that the communities can stay safe. The programs involving the youth should focus on promoting healthy behavior, such as eating healthy diets and exercising(Khan et al., 2018). The community members, through the young people in the society, should be fully engaged in education awareness to inform the decision makers and the public about the health problems their communities are facing and the solutions.

In Pakistan, the government has implemented a raft of measures geared towards making the communities safe from non-communicable diseases. The government is working with the leaders in communities and the members of the public to conduct health education in the community. The government has organized a series of health education programs on non-communicable diseases. They plan and organize health lifestyle education programs and workshops(Khan et al., 2018). Most of the education awareness programs in Pakistan concentrate on women focusing on pre-and post-natal healthcare.

What is Community EngagementAccording to Rafique et al. (2018), community engagement is when the health departments engage the stakeholders in the community to develop solutions and address the environmental and behavioral risk factors which are associated with a disease or diseases. There are several ways through which the community can get involved in health education. The following section analyses some of the community involvement measures in health education about non-communicable diseases in Pakistan.

The success of health education about non-communicable diseases relies heavily on the close loop and rapport development between health officials and the communities. Various studies conducted on the trends of NCDs in Pakistan show that community engagement is essential. Over the years, both governmental organizations and non-governmental bodies have worked with the locals researching the occurrence of NCDs. Examples of such research include the studies conducted to determine the incidences as well as the risk environments associated with NCDs amongst adults in Pakistani. The research concluded that tobacco consumption, poor feeding habits, and lack of physical exercise lead to an increase in obesity and hypertension. Thus, community participation through the study led to the identification of Punjab and Sindh as the areas with a high prevalence of NCDs(Rafique et al., 2018). Additionally, an educational intervention that involves the entire community has commenced in the region.

Historical Perspective

The low-income communities have always received the most significant share of non-communicable diseases, and the effects are dire. The problem is compounded by their economic, social, and physical environments, which are not good enough when compared with high-income communities. Most of the diseases affecting these populations include diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, disorders of the brain and the heart, arthritis, osteoporosis, and accident-related injuries(Rafique et al., 2018). Depending on the type of illness affecting the individual, the severity ranges from acute to chronic.

Non-communicable diseases refer to conditions or diseases that affect people over an extended time. The period can be years, decades, and even an entire life. The diseases do not have any causative agents which are known to transmit them from one individual to another. The primary feature of the diseases is the way they manifest themselves clinically and the resultant disability, which is usually long-term. The World Health Organization reported that the profile of the diseases is changing at an alarming rate with the disabilities and the deaths surpassing those of the infectious diseases. Non-communicable diseases which are lifestyle-related such as type 2 diabetes, stroke heart diseases, obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer, account for most of the deaths which occur globally. An average of 80% of all the NCDs that occur globally is from low-income countries such as Pakistan. If the situation is not reversed, it will present a significant global health issue that will be difficult to manage. (Saqib et al., 2018; Barolia, & Sayani, 2017). According to the World Health Organization, the socio-economic impact of the diseases is increasing and is making a significant contribution to the total mortality rates globally.

In developing countries, NCDs have become a significant concern in the health systems and are affecting the economy negatively. The major causes of the deaths and disabilities in the developing world has changed from infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies to non-communicable diseases. The approaches that the developing world is using to deal with the problem are not effective. Community participation, which is key to eliminating the problem, is not well-practiced. The severity of NCDs ranges from acute to chronic based on the type of disease as well as the individual. A more significant percentage of the NCDs constitute of non-infectious illnesses. NCDs are among the significant health challenges in Pakistan. According to the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO) of 2018, NCDs holds a considerable position on the top 10 lists of diseases that links to high morbidity and death in the nation (World Health Organization, 2018). The body had estimated that NCDs and accident-related injuries cause up to 77% of the total deaths in the country (Naseem, Khattak, Ghazanfar, & Irfan, 2016). Diabetes, which is amongst the most common types of NCDs, is the primary cause of death both for the urban and rural populations.

Lifestyles of the Pakistani population is directly related to the prevalence of cases of NCDs in the country. Studies conducted by the National Health Survey of Pakistan (NHSP) reveal that tobacco consumptions, which is approximately at 34% of the country's population contribute considerably to the rampant cases of hypertension, while lifestyle contributes significantly to overweight cases (Saqib et al., 2018; Barolia, & Sayani, 2017). The focus of this study is Pakistan, where there is a certain level of government involving the communities to deal with the problem. The factors informed the analysis above, which, if not well tackled, they will cripple the economies and the healthcare services in developing countries.NCDs cause numerous deaths globally each year. 2014 WHO statistical analysis reveals that approximately 38 million people lose their lives as a result of the NCDs.Additionally, over 80% of these deaths happen in regions of low-income earners. Blood pressure and heart ailments are the principal cause of the deaths among all the NCDs. Research conducted by Naseem, Khattak, Ghazanfar & Irfan (2016), shows that the semi-urban areas of Pakistan record the highest cases of the prevalence of NCDs compared to the high-income earning regions(Memon, 2020). Therefore, there is a need for continued community-based interventions to regulate the incidence of these diseases in semi-urban areas.

Framework: Ladder of Community Participation

Integrated community participation in dealing with NCDs was widespread in developed countries because that is where the diseases were prevalent before it reached the deloping world. However, since the problem has shifted to developing countries, they are also formulating and implementing strategies on how to involve the communities in mitigating the effects of the diseases. One of those developing countries is Pakistan, where the government has partnered with the communities to ensure that the problem is addressed from the core, which is the community(Saqib et al., 2018; Barolia, & Sayani, 2017).In Pakistan, the program core involves intervention measures that are geared towards mitigating the levels of the main risk factors of the diseases.

According to Memon (2020), the establishment and implementations of approaches that aim at regulating the adverse effect of non-communicable diseases have faced a significant challenge globally, and more especially for developing countries. As a result, different countries are taking various measures to regulate the prevalence and severity of NCDs. Both the Pakistani government and the private sectors have put joint efforts in the regulation and prevention of the NCDs (Nishtar, 2004).

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