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WHO reveals diseases triggering COVID-19 deaths

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against diverting attention and resources from non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The body said people living with NCDs are more likely to die from coronavirus.

They include autoimmune diseases, cancer, cataracts, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, most heart diseases, most cancers, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, parkinson’s disease, and strokes.

A WHO survey published on Monday revealed that NCDs kill no fewer than 40 million people annually.

The UN agency explained that the study was conducted in 155 countries in a period of three weeks.

It said the survey found that 94 percent of the countries have partially or fully reassigned health ministry staff working on NCDs to support COVID-19 response.

“For instance, it says screening campaigns for breast and cervical cancer were also postponed in more than half of the countries,” WHO noted.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, decried that people who need treatment for diseases have not been receiving health services since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for NCDs continue, even as they fight COVID-19,” Ghebreyesus said.

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