Kigali hosts chronic diseases conference

At least 150 participants from 18 countries convene in Kigali today for a two-day inaugural meeting of the Non-Communicable (NCD) Disease Synergies Network.

At least 150 participants from 18 countries convene in Kigali today for a two-day inaugural meeting of the Non-Communicable (NCD) Disease Synergies Network.

Hosted by the Ministry of Health, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, and Partners In Health, the conference will assemble policymakers, healthcare providers, and NCD experts in a collaboration to explore ways to fight NCDs of poverty in low- and middle-income countries.

Sir George Alleyne, the director emeritus of the Pan American Health Organisation, will give a keynote address titled “NCDs, Technical Collaboration between countries, and the Struggle for Development,” the ministry said in a statement.

Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India, will address planning and implementation strategies for fighting NCDs.

NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. The four main types of chronic diseases are cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as asthma) and diabetes.

In September 2011, the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs mandated member countries to create a multi-sector national policy for the preventing and controlling NCDs.

However, few developing countries have finalised a strategic and comprehensive plan. Yet the need is evident; at least one-third of the disease burden among those living on less than $1.25 per day is non-communicable.

NCDs kill more than 36 million people each year, the World Health Organisation says. Nearly 80 per cent of NCD deaths (29 million) occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The conference is funded by Medtronic Foundation.

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