Prevalence of noncommunicable diseases in Zimbabwe - results from analysis of data from the National Central Registry and Urban Survey 2
The disease burden from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa is rapidly increasing based on projections from a limited number of reports. In the absence of national health surveys in Zimbabwe, all data nationally generated between 1990 and 1997 were analyzed. From 1990 to 1997, prevalence rates (expressed per 100,000 people) of hypertension increased from 1000 to 4000, rates of diabetes increased from 150 to 550, and rates of cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) increased from 5 to 15. The case fatality rate (CFR) for CVA decreased substantially during the period of study, implying improved case management of the disease, while the CFR for most other diseases did not change significantly throughout the study period. The observation of increased prevalence of some NCDs during the study period was corroborated by findings from a blood pressure survey subsequently conducted in an urban environment of Zimbabwe, which revealed a hypertension (blood pressure > or =140/90 mm Hg) prevalence of 35% in women and 24% in men. In spite of the limitations of the centrally generated hospital-based data, its analysis is still valuable. Countries are therefore encouraged to utilize this easily accessible resource for policy formulation and resource mobilization.