Rwanda yesterday joined the rest of the world in marking the World Diabetes Day, with various activities which included voluntary testing and creating public awareness of the disease.
Addressing participants, in Kigali, the chairman of Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA), Francois Gishoma, noted that it is easier to prevent the disease than treating it and called upon the public to take on preventive measures.
“It costs about Rwf50,000 for a monthly treatment against diabetes. This does not include feeding needs, so engage in sports and feeding on carbohydrates and proteins,” Gishoma said.
He commended the partnership the association has with the Ministry of Health and the media, saying both parties have played significant roles in making the associations` activities a success.
“We work closely with the Health Ministry and the media has done a great job in sensitising the public about the disease,” he said.
The Ministry of Health representative, Dr. Emilien Nkusi, from the department of Non –Communicable diseases, said that although there is no official figures to show how the disease has affected the Rwandan population, plans are under way to address the problem.
“Early next year, the Ministry together with other stakeholders will work out to establish how diabetes is affecting the country,” Nkusi said. “This is in line with making strategies of dealing with the problem.”
She added that the Ministry of Health and that of Trade and Commerce will work together to ensure that equipments used to test diabetes are exempted from tax as it emerged that most hospitals lack such equipments due to their high costs.
The annual event that falls November 14 was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and other associations with the aim of involving people in advocacy and creating public awareness about diabetes.
This year, it was celebrated under the theme, “Let’s take control of Diabetes, Now.”