Report on the status of major health risk factors for noncommunicable diseases: WHO African Region, 2015

With millions of people in Africa predicted to die from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO), African Region has supported countries to carry out surveys to identify the main causes of this rising trend. According to a report released by the Organization, that consolidates available data, these impending threats can be predicted because most adults in Africa have at least one risk factor that increases their chances of developing a life-threatening NCD, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive lung disease. The burden of illness, which has been gradually increasing over the past decade, will likely surpass the toll of sickness and death from infectious diseases by 2030. Worldwide, deaths from NCDs will reach an estimated 44 million within the next four years, an increase of 15% from WHO’s 2010 estimate.