Dar es Salaam. Researchers at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (Cuhas) and Bugando Medical Centre (BMC)are teaming up with local and international counterparts in Mwanza Region on Wednesday November 13, to raise the profile of emerging health threats in the Lake Zone.
Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Deputy Minister Dr Faustine Ndugulile, recently challenged the experts from Cuhas and BMCto find answers to the rising cases of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases and other health threats in Tanzania’s Lake Zone.
Inspired by the theme: “Emerging health threats in Lake Zone, Tanzania: The need for a concerted effort”the researchers are expected to convene for two days, as they present findings and propose solutions that can drive policy change.
Three main aspects of public health concern to be highlighted: Communicable Diseases, Health System Management and NCDs, are detailed in a book, with 112 abstracts whose findings will be showcased by Cuhas researchers and students from various academic disciplines. The list of abstracts shows experts will discuss at length the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance(AMR)
“The distribution [of the topics] reflects the actual health challenges in our local community,’’ said the Cuhas Vice Chancellor, Prof Paschalis Rugarabamu in his commentary on the abstract book.
He said discussions during the scientific gathering, organized with support from Cornell and Wurzburg Universities, would give researchers and various stakeholders an opportunity to participate in evaluating which strategies offer the best solutions in mapping a concerted effort to combat these data-proven challenges.
“…this forum will serve to remind researchers to always ensure that their work not only serves to produce data, but also provide solutions that address various health challenges that are relevant to the community,” added Prof Rugarabamu.
The Director General of Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) Prof Abel Makubi said the scientific forum would avail an opportunity for experts from the university and the hospital to learn and discuss a growing concern of emerging health threats that is unique to the region.
“To halt the rising epidemics of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, we cannot simply treat the sick. We must find innovate strategies to protect the healthy, by addressing the root causes and prevent further manifestations of those diseases,’’ he noted in his remarks printed in the abstract book availed to The Citizen.
The scientific forum comes at a time when the government is set to launch a national plan to curb NCDs, which will outline ways the diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases and chronic lung diseases can be prevented.
The Deputy Health Minister Dr Ndugulile has previously said the burden of NCDs in Tanzania represents a failure of the heath system.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 percent of all deaths globally.
Each year, 15 million people die from a NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years; over 85 per cent of these "premature" deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, says WHO.