May TheNewTimes; An international conference on Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) is set to be hosted in Kigali next month. According to Major Jean Damascene Gasherebuka, the chairperson of the Rwanda Allied Health Professions Council (RAHPC), the conference will take place from June 28 to 30, and will attract over 500 participants from various countries worldwide.
The conference will be held under the theme: “The role of multi-disciplinary approach in the management of NCDs in Africa.” NCDs are a global health challenge that requires response and enough attention by all sectors as they are detrimental to the victims’ health, family and the country’s economic development.
Gasherebuka said experts in attendance will be expected to make presentations on scientific research on NCDs and their impact on health and the economy, how to effectively tackle them and give recommendations in this regard so that people enjoy good health for the development of their countries.
“We have organised the meeting because NCDs are increasing and this is a global health challenge because they are costly, yet, they are preventable diseases,” he said. He added that there were many diabetes patients who include both children and adults, yet when people have improved and healthy diet, cases of the disease can reduce.
“If people get sensitised to practice sports (physical exercises) and understand its importantance; if they abstain from tobacco [smoking] and alcohol, [some NCDs including heart attacks, hypertension, cancer which affect the families and the country, could reduce, say, by 80 per cent,” he noted.
The Conference is organised by Rwanda Health Professions Councils namely; RAHPC, Rwanda Medical and Dental Council, National Pharmacy Council, and the National Council of Nurses and Midwives in partnership with Rwanda Biomedical Centre and World Health Organisation.
The 2014 World Health Organization’s Non-communicable Diseases Country Profiles on Rwanda, stated that there were 78,000 deaths in the country, with NCDs estimated to account for 36 per cent of total deaths.
According to WHO global action plan in the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2030, NCDs- mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – are the biggest cause of deaths worldwide.
WHO’s 2014 global status report showed that NCDs were the leading cause of deaths globally, accounting for 38 million (68 per cent) of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2012.
Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths (28 million), and the majority of premature deaths (82%) occur in low- and middle-income countries, yet they could have been prevented. Most premature deaths are linked to common risk factors, namely tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive consumption of alcohol.