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Forget about Ebola - there's something far worse making Africans sick…

by , 03 November 2014

The Clinton Global Initiative's 10th annual meeting took place in New York this week. And a Kenyan doctor along with other health professions reveal the latest stats on health status in Africa.

He revealed that aid only pours in from all over the world to fight infectious diseases like Ebola, malaria and HIV/AIDs. Non-communicable diseases take the backseat and patients suffer because of it.

That's right!

There's 30 times less money available to fund research, health campaigns and treatment for these “less important” diseases. And while researchers and doctors wait for more funds, the diseases are skyrocketing with little notice from the outside world.

And there's one particular disease that's making one in every two Africans sick.

Read on to find out what's worse for the African continent than the recent Ebola outbreak…

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Uncontrolled high blood pressure is rife in Africa

Did you know uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of disease on the entire African continent?
It’s become so rife, it’s the reason Africa tops the list above all other continents.
Even scarier, it affects millions of young people. And stats say one in two over the age of 25 suffer from it.
So there’s little wonder heart disease is the number one killer of people over the age of 30 in sub-Saharan Africa!
And even with millions dying every day, there’s controversy surrounding the reason for poor funding for non-communicable diseases in Africa.
Rachel Nugget, director of Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation, which supports the Disease Control Priorities Network says the majority of donors think non-communicable diseases affect only fat, rich people in Africa. So they won’t put money into the research, campaigns or treatment because of it.
Even though no one has said it, they don’t want to support people’s lifestyles that lead to disease.
But what they don’t realise, is high blood pressure has a lot less to do with lifestyle than they think! And she says it’s this huge misconception that’s causing people to die!
While lifestyle does have its part, there’s something else that makes Africans more susceptible to high blood pressure.
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Your genetic make-up leaves you with high blood pressure risk

Researchers have found Africans are more susceptible to high blood pressure because of their genes.
And they have a theory that it affects your body’s ability to get rid of salt. This impacts your health further by making less reactive to treatment too.
That’s why, even at a young age of 25, you’re at risk of developing heart disease because of high blood pressure!
And while they say it has to do a lot with genetics, the Westernised world isn’t helping.

“Coke is cheaper than water,” says Dr Marleen Hendricks

Dr Hendricks, whose part of a programme in Nigeria that helps people pay for treatment for hypertension and heart disease, says because of genetics, the risk for developing disease is higher when you add lifestyle risk factors.
Her point reiterates the fact high blood pressure isn’t only a rich man’s disease!
She’s in an extremely rural area where Coke is cheaper and more readily available than water. And you can buy sweet cookies on every corner too, so that doesn’t help sustain a healthy diet that’ll lower high blood pressure risk!
But you’re one of the lucky ones…
You live in South Africa where you have access to better health care and a general better quality of life.
Doesn’t that make you want to change your lifestyle because you can and, despite your genetic predisposition, lower your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease? 

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Forget about Ebola - there's something far worse making Africans sick…
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