According to the World Health Organization, over 68% of Dakar’s population eat less than five servings of fruit and/or veg per day. Dakar’s hot semi-arid climate and short rainy season often plays a contributory role to this problem; directly impacting on the country’s ability to supply and produce healthy food.
Rapid and unplanned urbanization from rural communities migrating to the city has not only changed the size of the population but also its citizens’ lifestyle choices and how they experience disease. People living in cities increasingly lead lifestyles characterized by unhealthy nutrition, excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption, all risk factors for the development of non-communicable disease (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer.
Better Hearts Better Cities is a Novartis Foundation initiative which seeks to improve cardiovascular health in low-income urban communities by adopting a multisector, multidisciplinary approach to improve the control of hypertension as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.