Medical students apply skills to give back to community

The event was arranged in line with the celebration of World Diabetes’ Day

Last week, students under the body of Medical Students Association in Rwanda (MEDSAR) organised a healthy community outreach in Bumbogo sector, Gasabo District.

The event was aimed at curbing Non communicable diseases and was arranged in line with the celebration of World Diabetes’ Day that happened on the 14th of November.

The outreach saw 197 people get screening and access information about diabetes.

A team that comprised of 15 members took lead in conducting screenings and check-up of different medical conditions such as blood sugar level.

Speaking to The New Times, Steven Mbaza Setonde, the in charge of public health at MEDSAR said they recognise that the community is in need of their services.

The outreach saw people get screening and access information about diabetes

“One of the reasons why MEDSAR exists is to serve the community and to address different public health issues.  Non communicable diseases (NCDs) are part of the burden that the world has and specifically for the developing countries where Rwanda belongs, and particularly on a day like world Diabetes day, it is even special, for Diabetes bears a big part of NCDs burden,” he said.

“Diabetes is the leading cause of heart diseases, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Yet this can be prevented, for example type 2 Diabetes is preventable. Moreover, some people live with diabetes unknowingly,” he added.

Mbanza further explained that the community does not benefit alone. “Honestly, we gain from the services we offer to Rwandans. We gain from the fact that we see Rwandans living a better life because of our actions. When our goals are reached it is a huge success to us.”

Alongside screening, there were educative session about non-communicable diseases but a focus was put on diabetes since it was what was being celebrated.

 “Most people don’t know they are living with diabetes. And, most of them haven’t yet understood what NCDs prevention entails; they don’t value things like physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking and drinking much water, among others, and yet these are the best ways to prevent these silent killers(NCDs)”, he explained.

Mbanza calls upon people to do what they can and fight such diseases.

“Therefore, we encourage each and every one to get out of their comfort zones and engage in the fight against Diabetes as our country is doing, through different screenings around the country and through adoption of healthy lifestyle like physical activity, drinking a lot of water, avoiding fatty diets and reducing alcohol and cigarette consumption. Let’s all join hands to fight against diabetes.”

MEDSAR organised this event in partnership with different stakeholders; Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), Rwanda Non Communicable Disease Alliance (RNCDA), Partners in Health (PIH) and Rwanda Midwifery Students Association (RMSA), among others.

MEDSAR is part of the International Federation of Medical students’ Association, and they partner with different people to make such community outreaches to fight against malaria, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other health challenges in the community.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com