Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Govt stresses war on chronic diseases


By John Namkwahe @johnteck3

The government reiterates its commitment to making sure that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which include diabetes, drop by 30 per cent by 2030.

Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu revealed this during International Diabetes Day celebrations yesterday with the theme ‘Women and Diabetes: Our Right To A Healthy Future’. “Our country will continue partnering with other nations to ensure the NCDs’ burden declines by 30 per cent by 2030,” she noted.

As part of this year’s International Diabetes Day celebrations, the ministry, in collaboration with the Tanzania Diabetes Association, will conduct free diabetes screening at Kisutu and Jangwani secondary schools in the city, Ms Mwalimu said further.

“Free NCD screening will also be performed at regional and district levels countrywide,” she noted.

A number of diabetes patients is projected to rise to 592 million patients by 2035. In Tanzania, a survey conducted in 2012, involving 50 districts, shows that 9.1 per cent of Tanzanians aged 25 years have diabetes.

In Africa, Tanzania is ranked eighth among the top 10 African countries with the high diabetes prevalence rate.

Meanwhile, specialists at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) on Monday conducted free diabetes screening as part of International Diabetes Day celebrations. “Many people, mainly women, turned out for diabetes screening and some of them were diagnosed with the disease,” Dr Mohamed Mohamed, the head of Diabetes Unit MNH, said during an interview by The Citizen.

Dr Mohamed further called upon Tanzanians to eat healthy food and stop smoking tobacco in a bid to avoid developing NCDs including diabetes.

“I encourage people to engage in exercise as well and make sure they undergo regular medical checkup, majority of people are living with NCDs but they don’t know their health status,” he said.

Speaking to The Citizen, Ms Hamisa Rashidi, one of women who turned out for diabetes screening at MNH applauded the hospital management for offering a free diabetes screening programme.