Chronic disease management in Sub-Saharan Africa: whose business is it?

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Aug;6(8):2258-70. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6082258. Epub 2009 Aug 14.


Public health specialists and clinicians alike agree that Humanity faces a global pandemic of chronic diseases in the 21(st) century. In this article we discuss the implications of this pandemic on another global issue, the health workforce. Because both issues are particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we will focus on this region and use Cameroon as a case in point. We first gauge the epidemic of chronic conditions in SSA. We then discuss the implications of chronic conditions for the reshaping of health systems and the health workforce. We conclude by making a strong case for the building up and strengthening the health workforce, insisting on the crucial role of nurses, their training, and involvement in chronic disease management.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; chronic disease management; nursing; public health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / therapy
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Cameroon
  • Chronic Disease*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy
  • Nurses / supply & distribution
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / therapy