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Submitted by Patricio V Marquez on
Thanks for the comment. As you suggested, indeed a serious rethinking is needed to address effectively the main causes of disease and mortality in Africa avoiding the trap of false dichotomies: prevention vs. treatment, primary care vs. hospitals, and communicable vs. non communicable diseases. As global evidence shows, given the double and even triple burden of disease in Africa, besides adopting an integrated approach at the health system level to deal with communicable and diseases and NCDs, the adoption and adaptation of population-based preventive strategies and actions, which are multisectoral in nature, are a cost-effective way to address major risk factors which are common across a number of diseases (e.g., smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity), and in some cases, are also shared risk factors for road traffic injuries (RTI). Population-wide interventions, such as fiscal and regulatory measures (e.g., excise taxes to increase the price of tobacco products, banning smoking in public places), which are not reliant on health services for delivery, have relatively low costs, most people will be exposed to them, and the people who are either at high risk of NCDs or RTIs, or already suffering from them, will also benefit.