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FIRST LADY WELCOMES SWEDEN’S INITIATIVE TO CREATE A CENTRE FOR NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AT MAKERERE

FIRST LADY WELCOMES SWEDEN’S INITIATIVE TO CREATE A CENTRE FOR NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AT MAKERERE

14/02/2018

FIRSTLADY WELCOMES SWEDEN’S INITIATIVE TO CREATE A CENTRE FOR NON-COMMUNICABLEDISEASES AT MAKERERE

The First Lady andMinister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has welcomed an initiativeby Sweden’s Karolinska Institute to establish a centre for non-communicablediseases in Uganda at Makerere University.

She said such aninitiative comes at opportune time when Uganda is grappling with the bignumbers of people in the country who die from non-communicable diseases mainlybecause they do not know how to avoid catching such diseases.

Mrs. Janet Museveni was onWednesday meeting with Sweden’s Ambassador to Uganda H.E Per Lindgarde who led ahigh-level delegation from Karolinska Institute from Sweden to brief her abouttheir ongoing discussions with Makerere regarding the establishment of a centrefor non-communicable diseases at the University.

The meeting at StateHouse Nakasero was also attended by Makerere University officials led by theVice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Ag.  Director General of Health Services in theMinistry of Health Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Gity Behravan First Secretary, ResearchCooperation at the Embassy of Sweden and senior Ministry of Education Officers.

Janet Museveniacknowledged the need to sensitize the young people in order for them to avoidlifestyles that would make them susceptible to suffer from such diseases infuture. She added that treatment of the life-long non-communicable diseasesmakes a monumental strain on the country’s meagre resources.

Some of the non-communicablediseases include hypertension, diabetes, cancer, mental health, sever burns,renal and chronic respiratory diseases. People get exposed to these diseaseswhen still young and the risk factors include physical inactivity, obesity,tobacco use and alcohol abuse among others.

Mrs. Museveni appreciatedthe support from the Swedish Government through the Swedish DevelopmentCooperation and its strong collaboration with Makerere University and otherGovernment agencies overtime. She pledged Government’s support towards theestablishment of the Centre for non-communicable diseases.

Sweden’s Ambassador toUganda H.E Per Lindgarde reported that his country has been the largestsupporter of research in Makerere University for the last 16 years.

According to ProfessorAnders Gustafson the Dean of Research at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, thecentre for non-communicable diseases will be able to collect data and analyseit to inform policy, and also build capacity for the human resource for theprevention and early diagnosis of these diseases so as to address the growingepidemic. The data generated in Uganda will also inform the response to thehigh burden of NCD related deaths in Africa.

Makerere University ViceChancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe appreciated the Swedish Governmentsupport to Makerere University saying that without it conducting research atMakerere University would not have been possible. He reported that ademographic survey is already being conducted in Mayuge District to collectlocal data on what drives the non-communicable diseases.

The Principal of theMakerere University School of Health Sciences Professor Charles Ibingira saidthat the rise in non-communicable diseases in the country was realized in 2016and that 50% of the human resource in the health facilities in the country are notconversant enough with how to manage these diseases. This therefore calls forcapacity building of the human resource.  He said that an NCD symposium was organized by Makerere University College of Health to bringtogether researchers, clinicians, public health specialists, civil society,community leaders, policy makers, funding agencies and pharmaceutical companiesfrom Africa and beyond to discuss the unrecognized yet growing epidemic of NCDsin Africa.

The acting DirectorGeneral of Health Services in the Ministry of Health Dr. Henry Mwebesa saidthey welcome this innovation which will help a lot in research for healthtreatment protocols, control measures and informing policy.  He pledged the Ministry of Health’s support it.He also appreciated all stakeholder who have joined the Ministry of Health tofight non-communicable diseases. “The focus should be to prevent these diseasesbecause treatment is lifelong”. Ends.