(March 2015) Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, now account for more than 75 percent of all deaths in most countries in North Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, NCDs are projected to become the leading cause of death by 2030. These diseases share four key risk factors—tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet—all modifiable behaviors typically established during adolescence or young adulthood, and ones that set the stage for NCDs later in life.

Creating Health-Promoting Environments for Young People

Monitoring trends in the four risk factors and scaling up proven, cost-effective interventions to create health-promoting environments for young people are important strategies for addressing NCDs. These activities are especially critical in Africa, which has the world's youngest population and a rapidly expanding cohort of young people. If risk behaviors can be curbed among Africa's young people, the region stands a chance of tempering a potentially large and costly NCD epidemic in the future.

Launch of Policy Brief and Data Sheet on NCD Risk Factors

The Population Reference Bureau will launch a policy brief and data sheet that highlight the importance of addressing NCD risk factors among young people to curb the growing NCD epidemic in Africa and present the most recent data available on NCD risk factors among young people across countries in Africa. AstraZeneca Young Health Programme and NCD Child will also announce activities related to advocacy capability and prevention.