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31% of Ugandans dying from non communicable diseases due to ignorance

Stakeholders in the fight against NCDs posing for a photo..

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  31 percent of Ugandans dying from Non Communicable Diseases that can be prevented due to ignorance, the Uganda Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance-UNCDA has revealed. UNCDA attributes the problem on the low uptake of screening services among Ugandans.

Christopher Kwizera the Programs manager UNCDA says many Ugandans are living careless lives lately such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, leading to increased prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Kwizera says cancers, cardiovascular diseases (High blood pressure and Stroke) and diabetes are the major NCDs leading to deaths in Uganda because people don’t go for regular screening and engage in regular physical activity to keep their bodies in proper working conditions.

Kwizera also said that during Urban planning sessions for roads, the planners should include structures such as walk ways and cycling lanes to allow people to engage in physical activity to keep their organs healthy  and prevent NCDs.

Dr. Gerald Mutungi, the Acting Commissioner for Non Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, says the Ministry has set up a department in charge of NCDs so as to increase manpower and ensure that they are dealt with accordingly.

Dr. Mutungi also says that one in four adult Ugandans (1/4) has Hypertension, 76% of those don’t know that they actually have it. He says the ministry is conducting countrywide sensitisation on the risk factors of NCDs.   

Dr. Mutungi also said that many Ugandans don’t find having regular medical checks so important unless they have pain while others eat junk food, which isn’t good for their health.

Samalie Namukose, the Principle Nutritionist Ministry of Health, says taking unhealthy diets in large quantities leads to obesity ,which in turn disorganises the functionality of the organs hence leading to NCDs.

She says a person should consume at least something from the three food values daily, which include carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins so also keep the proper functioning of one’s organs.

“The ministry has put out some feeding guidelines to ensure that the right age feeds on the right food with the right quantities ensuring that the prevalence of NCDs slows down in Uganda,” Namukose said

Dr. David Okello, the Director NCDs and Healthy Ageing at African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, said advocacy and sensitisation are major in curbing the prevalence of the NCDs.

“Awareness is paramount in curbing down the prevalence of NCDs in Uganda because it helps people to know more about the situation and deal with it accordingly,” Dr. Okello said.



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