Health Ministry urges Oyam on non-communicable diseases

Reedly Bell [2nd from L] and Oyam district leaders during commissioning of the new health facility. Photo by Frank Oyugi.

An official at the Health Ministry asked the public to be critical on non-communicable diseases which is becoming a huge threat to the country.

Dr.Charles Olaro is the director incharrge clinical services at the Ministry of Health. He says whereas the country is grappling with the burden of HIV/AIDs and others like tuberculosis, there is need to focus on non-communicable diseases, too.

He was speaking to the community of Acaba sub-county in Oyam district on Tuesday at Atipe Health center II which has now been elevated to a Health Center III after new structures were constructed by world vision with funds from Reedley Bell and his wife Miekel. The pair are owners of the Mountain Blue Farms in Australia.

“You should use this facility properly, come and test for complications like high blood pressure, diabetes among others because they have become common killers,” Dr. Olaro who represented Health Minster, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng implored the community., a website of the Health Ministry of Uganda defines non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic or life style diseases as diseases that are ‘not easily transferable from one person to another either through direct contact or vectors’.

It cites diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and strokes), chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma), sickle cell and anemia as common non-communicable diseases in the country.

Smoking, harmful use of alcohol, inactivity and unhealthy diet are also predisposing factors to non-communicable diseases, according to health experts.

 Over 1,064, 000 million people in Uganda are estimated to have died of NCDs in 2010 alone. NCDs include cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease like asthma and diabetes among others according to the health ministry.

Also, 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 Organization (WHO) statistics, NCDs causes 60% of deaths globally of which 18 million deaths are women.

Meanwhile, Dr. Olaro has also asked the community to stick to clean water sources to avoid contracting infectious diseases like trachoma which, according to the Oyam district health department has also been rampant.

Oyam district has a population of about 240,000 people as per figures from the recent national housing and population census of 2014 by the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics.

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