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Makerere, St. Augustine University Move To Eliminate Lifestyle Diseases

Makerere University College of Health Sciences has partnered with St. Augustine International University (SAIU) to host the first international Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) symposium aimed at raising awareness about the silent killer diseases.

The symposium is slated for February 12th -15th 2018 in Kampala.

NCDs also known as chronic or lifestyle diseases are diseases that are not transferable from one person to another either through direct contact or vectors.

Addressing the press during  a media sensitization workshop about NCDs held at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala on Monday, Dr. Bruce Kirenga, Director at Makerere University Lung Institute says common and dangerous NCDs include cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases such chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma.

Others are sickle cell disease, mental diseases and injuries and violence.

He noted that NCDs account for 70% of all deaths globally annually. In Uganda, NCDs account for 40% of all death annually.

Prof. Charles Ibingira, the Principal at Makerere University College of Health Sciences said the World Health Organisation projects that by 2025, 70% of all deaths in people less than 70 years of age will be due to NCDs and that 80% of these deaths will occur in low and middle income countries (LMIC).

It is estimated that 28 million people in LMIC die each year from an NCD.

He noted that all government efforts are on communicable diseases like HIV/AIDs and malaria yet silent diseases like NCDs are more deadly.

He revealed that his college leads in research in Africa. He said it is Makerere University College of Health Sciences that pioneered research for the prevention of HIV from mother to child as well as safe male circumcision.

He noted that besides raising awareness about the deadly NCDs, the symposium will discuss self-sustaining methods to stop NCDs.  He noted that they intend to set up a research fund to help come up with solutions to prevent NCDs.

Mulenga Pledges Shs100m To Research Fund

King Caesar Mulenga, the founder and Chairman of St. Augustine University said his institution will contribute Shs100m towards NCD Research Fund.

He termed NCDs as the latest time bomb.

He said that to fight NCDs focus should be on prevention (awareness), early screening and nutrition.

Mulenga added that they were motivated to partner with Makerere University College of Health Sciences to raise awareness about NCDs because their prevention is cheaper than treatment.

“We are motivated by the fact that NCDs are leaving households very poor because treatment of diseases like cancer is costly,” he said.

He revealed that SAIU is giving two scholarships to students from South-Western Uganda to study medicine so that their can help their communities on health related issues.

“Currently, we have 60 students studying medicine freely,” he said.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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