ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia aims to prevent 1.5 million deaths in the next 15 years through a campaign to reduce the spread of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health announced Monday.
The ministry made the revelation during the launch of a report detailing the financial cost of NCDs to Ethiopia's economy.
The report singled out hypertension, cancer, diabetes and vascular diseases as being the main causes for Ethiopia's estimated 1.1 billion U.S. dollars annual loss due to non-communicable diseases.
The ministry plans to prevent 1.5 million deaths in the next 15 years through the regulation of the consumption of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products, as well as the promotion of healthy diet and healthy lifestyle among the Ethiopian population.
The ministry has recently started a series of initiatives to control the spread of non-communicable diseases in the country. These initiatives include a car-free day on the last Sunday of every month and restricting adverts of alcoholic and tobacco products.
It is also preparing legislation to control the use of a popular mildly narcotic leaf called Khat.
Khat, a mildly stimulant leaf grown across Ethiopia, is chewed by millions of Ethiopians, who use it to help them conduct work, undertake home studies or use it for recreational purposes.