Non-communicable diseases, or diseases that are not transmitted directly from one person to another, are said to be on the rise in Africa as climate change continues to pose a big threat to health in the region, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Increasing temperatures mean mosquitos spread diseases further and faster than ever before, with serious consequences for African countries.
Deaths due to malaria in Africa now account for over half of all malaria deaths worldwide.
With fossil fuels responsible for most of the harmful emissions that are linked to acute and chronic sickness, the WHO has called for sensible steps to curb their use.
“During the past two decades, most public health events have been climate-related, whether they were vector- or water-borne, transmitted from animals to humans, or the result of natural disasters,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
According to Dr Moeti, non-communicable diseases are set to overtake communicable diseases, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional conditions combined, to become the leading cause of death by 2030.
The WHO has warned that more than 90% of people globally breathe unhealthy levels of air pollution. In Africa, lower respiratory infections are the second major cause of death.