Rwanda commended for fighting diabetes

KAMPALA - Rwanda has made significant strides in the fight against diabetes and other non communicable diseases, a senior official of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has said.“Rwanda is pushing ahead very quickly and its national program on diabetes is working out very well,” IDF president, Prof Jean Claude Mbanya said at the closure of the First East African Community (EAC) Diabetes summit, yesterday, in Kampala.
 EAC boss Richard Sezibera
EAC boss Richard Sezibera

KAMPALA - Rwanda has made significant strides in the fight against diabetes and other non communicable diseases, a senior official of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has said.

“Rwanda is pushing ahead very quickly and its national program on diabetes is working out very well,” IDF president, Prof Jean Claude Mbanya said at the closure of the First East African Community (EAC) Diabetes summit, yesterday, in Kampala.

According to the Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the World Health Organisation, has estimated that Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for about 25 percent of the national burden of disease in Rwanda.

Mbanya called for intensified efforts in capacity building for health personnel, arguing that diabetes is a disease that does not await treatment for long.

Dr. Alain Uwumugambi from Rwinkwavu Hospital, who was part of the Rwandan delegation, said that Rwanda won admiration at the summit for its strong stance in involving psychologists in treating diabetes.

“We involve psychologists because diabetes is a chronic disease and it is highly traumatising,” Uwumugambi said.   

In its resolutions, the summit called for increased national ownership of diabetes and NCDs responses through greater allocation of domestic resources and health budgets.

The president of Rwanda Diabetes Association, Francoise Gishoma was pleased that the summit, the first of its kind in East Africa, would give international cognisance of diabetes as a world threat.

“The summit was a success because we have asked our governments to emphasise to the UN that diabetes is a threat just like HIV/Aids,” he said.

The summit also called on governments to develop and implement programs on education, and awareness-raising on the common risk factors of diabetes like tobacco use, the harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.

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