By Mafugi Ceesay
Omar Badjie, project coordinator of the Non-Communicable Diseases Unit of the Health Promotion Directorate of the Ministry of Health yesterday told journalists at a press briefing that Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital receives five cases of hypertension every clinic day (Mondays and Wednesdays).
He revealed that alarmingly, 32 per cent of deaths in The Gambia are due to non-communicable diseases.
He said malaria used to be the main cause of mortality but then the trend has changed with the high incidences of diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
“How many people in the country are faced with kidney failure and amputation? We need to do something otherwise…” he warned.
He said it is unfortunate that many of the young people in the country engaged in smoking with shisha becoming the new fad among the urban young.
Non-communicable diseases comprise about 50 diseases with hypertension and diabetes being the most critical in the country.
He said the underlying factors for these diseases are behavioural and that smoking and alcohol consumption should be discouraged.
Fatoumata Komma, a programme officer, said most of the patients visiting
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital lack knowledge of basic prevention and care practices.