Gov’t drafts strategy to cope with non-communicable diseases

By: Amina Nazarli

The Azerbaijani Health Ministry announced that a draft strategy for coping with non-communicable diseases has been developed.

International specialists have worked on the project development and now it is under discussion in relative circles.

The project is aimed to improve the population’s health state, as part of the National Strategy for 2020. Moreover, the project is looking for a 15-percent decrease of non-communicable diseases.

Azerbaijan has carried out several investigations into the factors behind the diseases.

The government is also going to improve the strategy for managing non-communicable diseases. There are four categories of non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. Blood pressure is also among those dangerous diseases.

Some 87 percent of all deaths in Azerbaijan are because of non-communicable diseases, according to the statistics in 2012.

The number of cancer diseases in the country increased by 6 percent in 2010. Malignant tumors were reported in 8,119 people which are more than 466 in comparison with 2009.

One of the biggest problems in the country is physical conditions of the population. About 35.8 percent of people in Azerbaijan have excess weight, while 21.9 percent suffer from obesity.

Obesity is common both in men and women. In Azerbaijan women suffer more from it. Only eight percent of men and four percent of women are constantly involved in sports, according to studies.

One more dangerous risk is tobacco use, as smoking people harm not only themselves, but also surrounding people.

Most of the smoking population in Azerbaijan are men. About 50 percent of men in the country smoke daily, 40 percent of them smoke at least one or two packs of 20 cigarettes per day. About 2-10 percent of women in Azerbaijan are also addicted to smoking.

Due to the project, all the spheres of the national health system are expected to provide more services.

Furthermore, the law will help strengthen the information system on prevention risk factors of such diseases.