Sep 27, 2011

Addressing Non-Communicable Diseases Using Models of HIV Care


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and diabetes are finally catching the attention of health officials in developing countries after years of oversight. NCDs kill more people than infectious diseases with 80% of NCD deaths occurring in developing countries. Many of those nations struggle with a high rate of HIV infection and are now contending with an increase in NCD cases because successful ARVs increase the life span of HIV+ people who are then likely to develop conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. 

To address this growing issue, officials are looking towards HIV care models which are often the first chronic care program implemented in the country. Methods used for HIV care such as reminding patients to take their medication and attend appointments, providing transportation access, and advising patients how to adopt healthier habits. Integrating services for HIV and NCDs will ensure that patients suffering from two afflictions will receive the appropriate care. While Both HIV and NCD treatment programs lack sufficient funding, it is a greater problem for NCDs because they do not attract the same amount of attention internationally.  

This issue is of interest to Life for Mothers because it is essentially about providing effective long term care. We aim to facilitate access to preventive measures like pelvic exams and contraception that will empower women to prepare and plan for pregnancy. Just as combined HIV and NCD services will reduce suffering, antenatal and postnatal care will yield better long term outcomes for mothers and their children. 


To read the original article at IRIN News here. 

Did you know?

In Africa and South Asia, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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