Non-infectious diseases pose threat to Myanmar

Nyein Nyein Thu
Doctors from Royal Youth Medical Association provide free healthcare services

As various global countries including Myanmar fight against infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer are threatening public health, forcing people to cover lots of medical expenses, said Hlaing Oo Maw, secretary of Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

She made the remark during a workshop on public awareness for the establishment of smoking-free zones across Yangon Region held at the City Hall of YCDC on September 5.  

The secretary said it was a great challenge to developing countries with low income like Myanmar. The country has to spend a largely proportionate amount of money on health sector while striving for national development, she added.

"National development is directly proportional to the health and fitness of the people. This is why the government is speeding up measures for the development of health sector. As such, non-infectious diseases are hindering the development of our country," Hlaing Oo Maw commented.

Myanmar experiences more non-communicable diseases than infectious diseases. Every year, over 1 million people die from non-infectious diseases.

According to estimation of the World Health Organisation, there were 14 million cancer outbreaks across the world in 2012. The number is expected to reach about 21 million by the half of 2030.

One in four people dies in Myanmar because of unhealthy lifestyles. Most die of cancer.