It is no longer malaria and tuberculosis.
In the past, the two diseases dominated any healthcare conversation when the subject was about Africa. Times have changed. Today, diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases are emerging as the top killers in Africa. Though infectious diseases remain a threat, the trendline is changing due to the rise of non communicable diseases (NCD). These used to be called the diseases of the rich but urbanization, smoking and the intrusion of western diets have broken the insulation African used to enjoy against these diseases. What is alarming is that African healthcare infrastructure are not currently able to manage these non communicable diseases.
In the weeks ahead, I will be delving into the issues of non-communicable diseases in Africa, the case for more funding of research to understand the rise NCDs and what governments need to do to avoid NCDs becoming the next malaria and TB.