The Ministry of Health (MoH) will at the beginning of next year carry out a countrywide survey on the prevalence of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, in order to facilitate the launch of health programs that will assist the sick, especially the poor and vulnerable children to acquire treatment.
This was revealed by the Expert in Policy Formulation in Public Health Facilities, Bonaventure Nzeyimana yesterday.
According to Nzeyimana, the strategy will help to curb the disease, which was reported to be increasing at an alarming rate in Africa, especially amongst the youth.
“MoH aims at implementing a strong plan to reduce the rate at which vulnerable citizens suffer from non-communicable diseases like diabetes. The survey will avail us with statistics, from which, strategies will be developed,” Nzeyimana said.
Information from Rwanda Diabetes Association revealed that current statistics on the prevalence of diabetes are insufficient, and cannot be relied upon to launch a countrywide program.
However, a study conducted in 2008 by the Food and Agricultural Organization; found that people in the Southern Province were more prone to diabetes, due to its poor soils that don’t support the growth of certain foods which help in the prevention of diabetes.
Vedaste Kaberuka, the Coordinator of Life for Child Program in the Rwanda Diabetes Association, said in an interview that several initiatives had been undertaken by both the government and the association to provide treatment to vulnerable people with diabetes.
“We have one well-equipped clinic, Clinique Fraternite’ in Kigali, that takes care of over 400 youths under 25 years who have diabetes. We also have a new branch in Rwamagana and we have plans to open up a third by the end of this year,” Kaberuka said.
He also said that Rwanda Diabetes Association partners with several hospitals across the country to identify and treat poor people with diabetes.