Solutions for Africa’s silent killer diseases

Africa Map

Solutions for Africa’s silent killer diseases


By Edema Tosan


African silent killer condition series: Part (5)


Cost effective/pragmatic and practical solutions


So far in this Op-ed series we have established multiple layer connected to Africa’s silent killer conditions. We have dissected hypertension, atherosclerosis, African and African descendants proclivity to overweight and obesity, water, genetics and hereditary contributions to the prevalence of these conditions. And now, with a focus on cost effective and practical solutions, we will close out this op-ed series.


Once again, let us restate that the genetics and hereditary tributaries are still evolving, and that when we have sufficient data to sink our teeth further into it, we will address it in the future. Arguments can be made that genetics and hereditary factors are vital to addressing this condition but this is just too simplistic. As we have already established, there are several tributaries to these silent killer conditions; and waiting for one tributary’s database cannot hold back needed information and attainable progress.


When I embarked on the writing of this op-ed, it didn’t take long to establish that I needed to make this a series so as to have space to sufficiently expand and expose the variable tributaries. Majority of the previous writings on the subject had crowded information on these conditions into single simple articles or op-ed pieces. This approach only exposed parts of this condition, superficially.

Following the same path would only have done further injustice to the people suffering the brunt of this condition. Apart from all the above; vast and differing hindrances like negligible database, socio-economical inequalities and poor governance compound the true reflection and subsequent non-accountability of this condition. The purpose of this op-ed therefore is simple; to empower all to make positive progressive changes. Information is knowledge only when applied; and even miracles come at a cost as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


Going forward then, we are going to highlight different corresponding section solutions to match the previous 4 series op-eds. The key to this solution is: to cure or curtail the effects of the tributaries; apply other life saving models across the world if found to be viable and feasible to fixing this condition; implementing cost effective and established practices that can benefit people today without delays because we are behind the eight ball for far too long; establishing better regimens and criterion going forward to benefit now and our future generations; learning from our past, making adjustments to our current lifestyles and anticipating the future; emphasizing each governmental responsibility, reliability, Sustainability and accountability to stemming these silent killer conditions going forward; empowering citizens to take corrective steps and partner with government when convenient and practical; and assisting government to cover more ground faster to garner more database to analyze.


Five phrases that resonates during the preparation of this op-ed have been ” prevention is better than cure,” “moderation is golden “, “life is not fair; but can be ” and “make do with what you have”. The African continent is almost surrounded by water 100% yet only a quarter of its citizens get daily clean, processed, purified and reliable water supply. African governments’ ineptness in respect of this condition in not just baffling but asinine. Furthermore; one of the largest aquifers in the world resides in the Africa-Nubian sandstone aquifer system. Multitudes of other aquifers with large amounts of untapped water reservoir reside in Africa. Investment into accessing, purifying and distributing these aquifers to ensure water gets to the needy populace with regularity and sustainability should be a welcoming telescope, not mirage.


Hypertension solutions are as follows. Hypertension doesn’t happen overnight, it takes months to years of neglect and abuse to get hypertensive. Both underweight and overweight people can get hypertension. So it only makes sense to practice prevention to cure or mitigate hypertension. The ultimate new standard should be if one hypertension medication doesn’t fix your hypertension, it is unlikely one or two additional hypertension medications would. In fact studies have concluded that using more than one hypertension medication does create new complications for kidney, cardiovascular and liver functions. Hence your physician checks kidney function and other labs regularly, and sometimes recommends combined hypertension medication with diuretic medication to negate possible and potential kidney damages. Example of such medications is lisinopril with hydrochlorothiazide (hctz). Proper daily hydration (1500-2500 fluid, 80% of fluid should be water), sleep (8-10hours per night) and naps (1-2hours three times weekly) can directly arm our body to maintain metabolism, fight off infection and rehab injuries quickly and prevent or curtail hypertension and weight gain. By regularly and consistently doing all the above our homeostasis will be in top shape and less calories retaining and subsequently less fat conversion to stubborn FAT(adipose).


Other recommended ways to address/curtail hypertension are daily exercise (walking 1-3miles daily, plus some 2-4times per week additional gym/sports/athletic activities, like weightlifting, soccer, tennis, table tennis and biking. Cutting down and moderating daily salt intake is also a positive step in the right direction and can indirectly enhance self consciousness, improve self esteem and behavioral cognitive accountability. Weekly to bi-weekly weight checks and weekly calories intake adjustments also help in the overall picture to address this condition. Balanced diet with moderation comes handy to curtail extra or hidden caloric buildup.

Vital signs checks 2-4 times per week at different times of the day- morning, noon, pm, bedtime – and as needed beyond these can help to identify hypertensive trends and subsequently lead to individual accountability.


African governments should invest in weight and vitals sign checks weekly programs in schools, from the elementary to high school levels. Some kids might require bi-weekly checks pending when established criterion and abnormal trends are detected. Kids should also be credited for weekly vitals’ signs and weight check compliance like physical education, athletics and extracurricular activities. Physical education health programmes should be for a minimum one hour daily and up to 10hours weekly combined with sport/athletics programmes if data and trends are justifiable. Cost of acquiring equipment for this program is one-time $200.00 for BP machine, weight machine/scale, thermometers, alcohol pads, batteries with 2-4years warranty and then subsequently $40-60.00 annually for replenishing everything except BP and weight machines.


Most African colleges or universities have job corps or youth corps programmes that can be mobilized to create jobs and bridge demand for such additional programmes until schools can implement and take charge of these programmes themselves. In a nutshell: if African governments do the above, our kids’ future will be brighter.  We will have quality concrete database. The database will reflect differences that warrant further review and exploring. Also, jobs created from this would be a plus and the ultimate benefit is that it is cost effective for our current socio-economical status. I call this above program the AYENOH model. This above model can also be duplicated in countries like USA, South America and Asia.


Imagine if each African country immediately adopts 4 primary and secondary schools from the Northern, Southern, eastern and western parts of each country to start the above AYENOH model and fund it for 4-10years and expand to more schools annually. The database for this model is to be preserved for a minimum of 30 years. Students parents can participate too if applicable. Minimum teaching by youth corps personnel about pros and cons of this data to both students and parents will only foster realistic accountability going forward. Such investment will include monetary compensation to youth corps personnel and schools. Cost of equipment purchases, database storage is a drop in the bucket compared to benefits that this model will generate. Once this model is fully up and running and all logistical kinks smoothed out; expanding this model beyond the original scope becomes feasible for better and richer database sampling and harvesting. This model can also be sponsored by private citizens if governmental agencies permit. The overall goal is to get more data to analyze and draw connections that will help in stemming these silent killer conditions. A citizen of a particular town, village or city can adopt the town, village or city school or schools if the government allows it or does so in conjunction with the government. Such a programme will require avoiding the scourge of ethnicity, nepotism, favouritism and other forms of governmental abuse and manipulation.


To be continued…


‘On June 12 we stand’

Previous article

Solutions for Africa’s silent killers (2)

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *