Working Together in Algeria for Better Health

Working Together in Algeria for Better Health

September 17, 2014 at 05:09pm

For Algerians, two diseases – cancer and cardiovascular illness – overshadow all other health concerns in terms of their severity, cost of treatment and likelihood of afflicting a family member, according to a new GE study.

And it turns out Algerians are right to be concerned about cardiovascular disease; it takes more lives than any other single cause of death in the country, accounting for 41% of mortalities. Cancer, by contrast, is responsible for just 10% of deaths. Other non-communicable diseases, including chronic respiratory illnesses and diabetes, account for 26% of deaths. Another major cause of death, at 16%, is communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions.

A more disquieting result from the GE health study is the large number of Algerians who say they wait or self-treat before seeking formal medical care. Forty-three percent wait for a medical condition to “go away on its own,” 46% get medicine from a pharmacy, and 39% use traditional treatments.

Even more concerning is that 68% of people self-identified as being at risk of future health problems say they are unlikely to seek medical treatment due to cost.

These results highlight the need to provide easier access to quality healthcare, and to ensure health conditions are diagnosed earlier. That’s because the earlier treatment begins, generally the costs are lower and outcomes are better. The study also reinforces the importance of educating people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in helping prevent lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer.

The survey was released as GE Healthcare launched a public health awareness campaign focused on four areas: general health and wellness, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and maternal and child health.

Called “Ensemble, abordons la Santé autrement” (“Together, for better health”), the campaign seeks to empower Algerians to become healthier by raising awareness regarding lifestyle diseases such as cancer, obesity and diabetes, and by providing easy-to-follow tips for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Specific topics include: the value of taking steps early to address health concerns; encouraging greater use of available healthcare services; strengthening awareness of breast cancer and its early detection, treatment and prevention; pre- and post natal care and nutrition; and general wellness that addresses obesity, diabetes, managing heart attacks, diet control and the need for a healthy lifestyle.

The healthymagination campaign is another example of GE’s support to Algeria’s healthcare sector. More than 100 GE Healthcare employees support the company’s 2,200 healthcare technologies and other advanced solutions that are deployed in hospitals and health facilities across the country.

For more on GE’s efforts to support a healthy citizenry in Algeria, click here. To visit the “Ensemble, abordons la Santé autrement” website, click here.

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