NCDs, a rare gem gaining popularity, North West journalists ready to combat

The Reconciliation And Development Association with it's acronym RADA has trained over 20 journalists from different media organs, charged them in Bamenda Chief Town of the North West region of Cameroon for better media engagement and involvement in highlighting the plight of people living with Non-communicable Diseases, calling attention to the link between NCDs and COVID-19 and NCDs as a whole within the broader context of Universal Coverage.

NCDs account for 35% of annual deaths in Cameroon. With the risk accompanied which acompany's these Non-Communicable Diseases, journalists have reported less about it leaving much of the awareness creation to medical practitioners though the main custodians of knowledge about NCDs but not trained to communicate in simplified language for better understanding.

Thereby leaving out the risk factors, challenges, priorities and prevention methods causing a continuous increase in the number of infected persons as attested by Ferdinand M. Sonyuy Secretary General CASCSNA, President/CEO, RADA

"This workshop was actually made considering the fact that there has been a historical bias towards considering the importance of action against Non-Communicable Diseases in Cameroon and the world at Large, meanwhile NCDs are responsible for the highest number of annual global deaths. We want journalists to be able to voluntarily increase their coverage related to NCDs"

This was in a workshop held October 28, 2021 in Nkewn Bamenda, the one day workshop was dubbed "Workshop on Media Coverage to increase action by government and relevant stakeholders on NCDs during and post COVID-19 for Universal Health Coverage."

Non communicable diseases are chronic health conditions such as heart diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, mental disorders and cancers are not infectious and non-transmissible but have increased over the years and are increasing by day affecting both children, youth and adults with about 16 million youths dying before the age of 60 years old.

Responsible for the highest number of deaths and with little attention titled towards its effects, press men and women have highlighted some of the difficulties and limitations faced in reporting NCD related stories which includes limited access to resources and resources, lack of interest in reporting NCD related issues, persons living with NCDs are not willing to speak out for fear of stigma, poor internet connection, poor relationship between media organs and NCD stakeholders.

To increase media engagement in reporting on NCDs, media organs in attendance have proposed more commitment in NCD reporting, close synergy between NCD actors, writing of Fundable NCD Projects, more capacity building workshops, build personal initiative in reporting about NCDs, build confidence with persons living with NCDs in order to have first hand information ,experst should be more open in sharing information about NCDs to the public.

Panel Discussion 

Journalist were therefore called upon to report more on Challenges, Needs and Priorities of Persons living with NCDs to raise awareness and increase advocacy about NCDs and to increase action by government and relevant stakeholders.

Upon return, the press men and women promised to report more on NCDs noting the importance and timely nature of the workshop.

Non communicable diseases are chronic health conditions that are not infectious and non-transmissible. They include; heart diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, mental disorders and cancers. They account for 41 million deaths equivalent to 71% annual global deaths. In Cameroon, 35% of annual deaths are due to these NCDs. More than 60% of NCDs in the community are undiagnosed. Most people turn up to the hospital at advanced stages when treatment and control is difficult to achieve.

Anye Nde Nsoh

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