President Museveni has urged the Ministry of Health to step up preventive health campaigns to sensitise the public on avoiding non-communicable diseases.
“The new danger to the health of Ugandans is arising from the non-communicable diseases,” warned Museveni.
“We continue to witness an increase in lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases or Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) include; diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity and cancers. These are most prevalent in the urban areas where people have adopted behaviours which promote less body activity or exercise and eating fatty and processed foods and beverages,” he cautioned.
He said the Non-Communicable Diseases are easy to handle through lifestyle changes.
“The Ministry of Health should intensify its health campaigns to teach people on the right diets for their bodies and the recommended forms of exercise for different categories of people. This will help us to counter the threat of these silent killers,” said Museveni.
The President was represented by Vice President Jessica Alupo this past Saturday at the second edition of Heroes in Health Awards ceremony at Kampala Serena Hotel.
The event, mainly sponsored by National Medical Stores (NMS), sought to recognise outstanding individuals, entities, organizations, services, products, and programs in Uganda’s health sector.
Currently causes of deaths due to the common four NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes stand at 27 percent while 40 percent of diseases in Uganda, according to the Health Ministry.
40% people die of non-communicable diseases; 13% die of accidents; 9% die of heart related diseases, 5% die of cancers and 3% die of other diseases including sickle cells.
Museveni said the public health strategy of the NRM Government has always been characterised by putting greater emphasis on disease prevention.
“This involves mass mobilisation and awareness campaigns to equip the general public with crucial information on disease prevention and control. Once the public is aware of the possible sources and causes of various diseases, it becomes possible to reduce the disease burden on our health care system,” he observed.
“Everyone must become their own doctor and nurse in order to succeed in the fight against diseases. For example, through the vigorous mass immunisation campaigns we were able to kick the killer diseases of polio, measles, diphtheria, tuberculosis etc. out of Uganda.”
Museveni said the emphasis on disease prevention has helped the government to control the spread of malaria and cholera.
“Ugandans are now more conscious of the health benefits of good hygiene and following health guidelines like drinking clean and boiled water, proper waste disposal, eating fully-cooked food, sleeping under a mosquito net, clearing bushes around homesteads etc.”
Meanwhile, Museveni also thanked the people of Uganda for obeying the guidance given by the Ministry of Health and the Scientists at the beginning of the struggle to fight and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“I continue to challenge our scientists to lead in sensitizing the wanainchi on COVID-19 and how to protect themselves. A healthy population is the cornerstone for improving people’s standards of living,” said museveni.
Museveni said the awards will pay homage to the dedicated and talented foot soldiers, practitioners, academicians, organizations and other sector partners, who dedicate their careers, time, life and resources to providing exemplary care, innovation and service to Ugandans countrywide.
NMS board chairman, Dr Jotham Musinguzi expressed the institution’s commitment to continue procuring, storing and delivering essential medicines and health supplies mainly to public health facilities.