Government has pledged a continued working relationship with researchers in Bid to harmonize Data in the fight against Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Dr. Frank Mugabe, the Assistant Commissioner NCDs at the Ministry of Health said government has continued to use the Data extracted by private researchers to inform policy in fight against NCDs.
“We as government are ready to work with you in ensuring that Data is harmonised because we are already using your Data at policy level,” he said
Dr. Mugabe was at NCD Symposium 2023 that was hosted by Makerere University College of Health Science, a member of Africa Rural Universities Alliance, (ARUA) on Saturday.
He said that government continues to intensify fight against NCDs, which are causing majority deaths among Ugandans.
“We can’t afford to wait for other Ugandans to die at our watch. We need to embrace and support all people so that we prevent these NCDs,” he said
According to Dr. Mugabe, their research that was conducted in villages of Iganga and Mayuge districts indicated that 56% are the youths with Non Communicable Diseases
“In the recent past, we thought such diseases are for old people and fat ones but we revealed that 56% are children before 4 years, 70% are those affected by road accidents and are 40 years and below,”.
He sought that every Ugandan participates into preventive ways like making drills, minding the food one eats, go for fruits, greens, avoid a lot of salt and sugar, diabetes because when you prevent yourself from this, you’ll live a happy life.
Speaking at the Symposium, Dr. Damalie Nakanjako, the Principal Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) reiterated the University’s commitment towards fighting Non Communicable Diseases.
This, she said is done through a spread of different University branches across the country, where they are continuing to train competent human personnel who will deal with production of Data that will continue informing policy.
“Our commitment is to build capacity in the country because we train students in all districts in the country,” she said
NCDs, she said are already a burden to most Ugandans and that as people improve their lifestyle, these are expected to be on arise by 2040.
Prof. Nakanjako warned Ugandans against using every herbal concortions that may lead to their health.
She said that researchers should first look at them and ascertain what they can do in the body regarding management of NCDs.
“For each herbal, before we use it and recommend it for a particular disease, we test it in our laboratories to see what is the active ingredient and what it does to the body”. Quotes Dr. Damalie.
Speaking at the Symposium, Dr. Fred Bukachi the Director of ARUA said that the alliance works towards supporting research in NCDs in general which helps identify and solve the day today problems that Africans face in lie like hypertension, diabetes , Cancer, Respiratory diseases among others.
“ARUA is an alliance of five Universities that is to say, Makerere University of Uganda, University of Nairobi, Witwatersrand University in South Africa, University of Ghana and Ibadan University in Nigeria because we share common problems therefore out of research, we can inform policies so that governments can help support the idea of preventing Non Communicable Diseases,” he said.
“For the public, there is no one in sub Saharan Africa who doesn’t know someone with diabetes, hypertension, stroke or dialysis so it is a common problem across Africa and the best thing is to join and hands and as researchers, how can we be able to join hands, get a common solution and how our governments under the African Union can also be able have policies to solve the problem,”he added.
The symposium was organized under the theme; Advances in NCD Training, research and community impact with an objective of providing a forum for dissemination of advances in different NCDs with regard to training and research and their impact on community in Uganda and East Africa.
It captured important sub themes that included; Cardiovascular diseases, Renal Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus & Other Endocrine Disorders, Cancers, Mental Health Disorders, Respiratory Diseases and Lung Health, Sickle Cell Disease and Other Haematological Conditions, Interactions between NCDS and Infectious Diseases.