Ugandans risk dying from the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) if they do not change their diets and lifestyles, the ministry of health has said.
According to ministry of health, an estimated 43% of the deaths in the country are caused by NCDs due to poor lifestyles and unhealthy foods.
The health minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye says that non communicable diseases is a big burden on the country because many realize after getting symptoms which only manifest in advanced stages.
Non-communicable disease (NCD) is a medical condition or disease that is non-infectious or non-transmissible.
NCDs can refer to chronic diseases which last for long periods of time and progress slowly.
“I call up all Ugandans to go and participate in the camp that we have organized together with Clapper’s house so that people begin to appreciate physical exercises as a way of preventing diseases,” Dr. Tumwesigye adds.
The public needs to go for regular check-ups for diabetes and other Non-Communicable Diseases to void preventable death.
The program director of Non Communicable Diseases at the ministry of Health Dr. Gerald Mutungi says the answer lies in increased sensitization.
Mr Solomon Oyebode Wilson the managing director of Clapper’s house Ltd, a Public relations and Marketing firm, says they developed this concept after realizing that many people are ignorant of non-communicable diseases.
Non communicable diseases are one of the leading causes of death currently.
“I believe that most of the non-communicable diseases are preventable and some are reversible coupled with consistent physical exercises, proper dietary habits,” Oyebode says.
Entitled: ‘My life health and fitness camp’ is organized by Clapper’s house and Ministry of health alongside KCCA, NSSF; Police among others is held every Saturday at Makerere University Rugby grounds.
Case clinic is providing free screening for cervical cancer, HPV, blood sugar, blood pressure and all other NCDs.
Dr. Mutungi explains that studies showed that deaths due to NCDs had increased from 20% to about 43% since 2010.
He says about 1,064, 000 million people are estimated to have died of NCDs in 2010 alone. NCDs include cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease like asthma and diabetes among others.
Many cases go unrecorded since the studies base on cases reported at various government hospitals around the country. Many people go to private hospitals and traditional herbalists for medication.
Mutungi says 25% of Uganda’s adult population is hypertensive (having high blood pressure) while two million people are estimated to have diabetes.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, NCDs cause 60% of deaths globally of which 18 million are women.
He further adds that NCDs represent a major threat to women’s health especially in the low and middle income countries.
Recycling of carbohydrates and reduced intake of vegetables and fruits are one of the triggers of non-communicable diseases.
Including beans and broccoli on your diary menu can keep you away from diabetes.
The chairperson for Uganda Diabetes Association (UDA), Dr. William Lumu adds that in 2013 a recent partial survey carried out, indicated that 10% and 10.6% children in Kampala and Kamuli were over weighed.
Unhealthy foods given to children and lack of playing fields in schools for physical exercises.
Unlike other communicable diseases, NCDs have no symptoms thus remaining conditions of late diagnosis, thus leading to complications like blindness, impotence, kidney diseases and amputations among others.
Due to lack symptoms, 80% of people with these conditions remain ignorant (do not know) their status, yet they can be treated if detected early.
The population is highly ignorant. People come to the healthy facilities when their illness is in advanced stage making it hard for the doctor to treat it.
Seeking early treatment is the only way to avert diseases.
Laity in exercises
Majority of people are busy with their careers and hardly find time to engage in any physical activities and some are not consistent when they start the workouts.
When it comes to exercises, others don’t understand the reasons they are doing.
How can it be prevented?
Consistency in exercises is one way you can live a good life and avert such diseases because most times, many people prefer to drive in their cars and dread simple exercises like walking.
Eating health foods
Foods rich in vegetables and fresh fruits should be on the diary menu at least twice a day.
Incorporating foods like beans and broccoli can keep you away from non-communicable diseases.
Foods like snacks should be eaten in moderation.
Avoid tobacco and drug abuse
Even if you are not smoking, ensure to keep children away from tobacco smoke as it can trigger diseases such as cancers of the lung or throat.
There is need for NCDs Parliamentary forum to lobby for more funds to help the ministry get sufficient funds to purchase the required tools and medicines for diagnosing NCDs patients.
Written by Sarah Achen