Medics enlist lawmakers’ support against killer diseases

Medics yesterday made an appeal to lawmakers to do whatever it takes to help in the prevention of diabetes and heart disease which are considered the world’s worst killers. Heart diseases claim over 17 million lives a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Hon. Connie Bwiza during the heart check up at Parliamentary Building yesterday. The New Times /T. Kisambira
Hon. Connie Bwiza during the heart check up at Parliamentary Building yesterday. The New Times /T. Kisambira

Medics yesterday made an appeal to lawmakers to do whatever it takes to help in the prevention of diabetes and heart disease which are considered the world’s worst killers.

Heart diseases claim over 17 million lives a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Doctors Joseph Mucumbitsi, the chairman of the Rwandan Heart Foundation, and Francois Gishoma, of the Rwandan Diabetes Association, were sharing concerns with MPs and parliamentary staff about the two diseases.

The doctors want the House to play a vital role, especially in making sure that the government pays more attention as well as provides more support to initiatives to curb the diseases.

In his presentation, Mucumbitsi also noted that heart diseases have a significant impact on the economy yet they can be prevented – if measures, including concerted public awareness, are considered.

“People fall ill and miss work. When you get a stroke you are bed ridden for about six months yet your organization pays medical bills. If we could count the expenses, you find that amounts spent on prevention could be less.”

Concerning diabetes, which is also linked to heart diseases, Gishoma noted that the country lacks enough proper medicine and specialized doctors.

He told lawmakers that unlike what is commonly believed, diabetes is killing more Rwandans than suspected.

He also noted that the government ought to give diabetes more attention like that given to HIV/AIDS and other lesser killer diseases.

The Rwandan Heart Foundation and the Rwandan Diabetes Association have organized awareness events - including health checks, organized walks, runs and fitness sessions and public talks in the coming days.

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