The Chairman of St. Augustine International University (SAIU), King Ceasor Augustus Mulenga has said there is need for the government of Uganda and the general public to pay critical attention to non-communicable diseases (NCD) which are on a rapid increase in Uganda.
Mulenga noted that diseases like cancer, Diabetes, respiratory diseases like asthma, heart diseases like pressure are on the rise in Uganda and they are very expensive to treat, hence leaving a lot of families financially and economically frustrated.
“The government has been working on making Uganda a middle income state by reducing poverty in households. However this fight is being attacked by long lasting non communicable diseases which are consuming the time and energy of effected households,” he said.
“There is need for government attentions on NCDs like cancer, pressure and others. These diseases which can be prevented are taking Uganda by storm. Ugandans need to be enlightened about ways of preventing such diseases but also avail to them facilities for early detections and checkups.”
Mulenga, who is also the consul general for Vietnam in Uganda noted that because of the high cost of treatment and longevity of such diseases, many Ugandans are losing a lot of money on treatments hence economically frustrated.
“Per month, a NCD patient needs over 10m for proper treatment. So the long the patient lives on, the more expensive it is. Additionally, the caretakers have to spend months taking care of the sick person which stops them from participating in productive work. This also brings frustration and depression among family members,” Consul Mulenga noted.
He was speaking Monday during media training on NCD symposium that took place at Sheraton hotel in Kampala organised by Makerere University College of Health Sciences in partnership with SAIU.
The aim of the training was to equip journalists with enough information on NCDs so t So that they can sensitize the public on the preventions of such diseases.
Mulenga noted that although there is evidence of the high burden of NCDs in Africa, the response to such diseases is still minimal hence the need for government to invest in research on how such diseases can be avoided.
“These diseases are prevented. People need to learn to eat healthy, stay away from fats and sugars and habits like drinking and smoking which are the major causes of NCDs. Also people need to start doing exercises. All these are cheap things to do but once ignored, the price becomes too high,” he noted.
“The focus is on communicable disease like Aids, malaria hence the other disease are equally deadly. That is why we are coming up with this symposium so that NCDs can receive the attention they require.”
According to World Health Organisation reports, by 2025, 70% of all world deaths in people between age of 30 to 70 will be due to NCDs and 80% of those deaths will occur in low and middle income countries.
To counter-attack NCDs, Makerere University and St Augustine International University will hold a fundraising event on 12th December to create a research fund of about $1million that will be accessible to all researchers on NCDs.