Regional health ministers are meeting in Zanzibar to discuss various health issues, including prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The meeting, that commenced yesterday with permanent secretaries, will also consider, among others, the EAC regional cooperation and integration on Medicines and Food Safety, and the EAC regional cooperation and integration on the Prevention and Control of HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
“They will review reports from different committees, coordination and implementation of various policies in health sectors within the region,” Nathan Mugume, the head of Rwanda Health Communication Centre, said.
The three-day meeting will also discuss matters regarding the EAC regional cooperation on health systems as well as research and policy among the EAC partner states, according to a statement from the EAC Secretariat in Arusha.
Non-communicable or chronic diseases are diseases of long duration and slow progression.
The four main types of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma as well as diabetes.
According to the world Health Organisation (WHO), non-communicable diseases are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing 63 per cent of all annual deaths.
Statistics from WHO indicate that NCDs kill more than 36 million people each year and 80 per cent of all deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa
The meeting will also consider the EAC regional cooperation and integration on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH).