By MUTAYOBA ARBOGAST

THE government through the Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children has over the weekend launched a national strategy for fighting Non-Communicable Diseases(NCD) which contribute to more than 41 million deaths equivalent to 71 per cent of all 57 million deaths in the world according to World Health Organisation 2016 statistics.

Dr Doroth Gwajima, Minister for Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and  Children said at the launching ceremony that education is a vital key to reach the communities, whereby all stakeholders should be guided by principles of equity through ensuring access, availability to affordable quality health services by having a culture and gender-sensitive control.

Non Communicable Diseases include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases etc.

Dr Gwajima has further said that in fighting with NCD, people should be educated on the importance of physical exercises, avoid eating inexpensive foods and excessive use of versions that cause such diseases, insisting the community to take seriously the recommendations given by health experts.

The minister said, in the 90s, NCD contributed only 20 per cent, but now they contribute 33% and are estimated to reach up to 40% in some parts of the country.

“This situation threatens the welfare of human development, and it is very touching that the diseases begin at early years, that weakening working force, to cause deaths under 60 years of age”, said Dr Gwajima, adding that it is estimated for a period of 20 years from 2013, the costs of these diseases will reach USD 47 trillion, the funds that could be used to reduce poverty of 2.5 billion people for fifty years.

The estimation further shows 75 of the whole budget of the ministry of health, will go to non-communicable diseases, while diabetes only consumes more than USD 465 equivalent to 51 of the world health budget.

For the middle-income countries and below, these diseases will cost  USD seven for a period of 2011-2025.

Dr Grace Maghembe, Deputy Secretary-General at President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, promised the implementation in full capacity, especially in awareness education, mobilise people to join health insurance

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