KAMPALA —Health workers have decried the increasing cases of Non Communicable Diseases that are silently killing people.
“We are seeing many patients presenting symptoms of disease that are either preventable or manageable, and this is worrying, something must be done”. The remarks were made by Dr.William Lumu, a physician and diabetes researcher.
He made the remarks at a Health Community event organized by Pamela Ankunda, dubbed Mark Against Diabetes (MAD) held over the weekend.
The event focused on free screening and testing for BMI, diabetes and prostate cancer among others.
“People are not focusing on wellness in general. Eating abnormally in large quantities, sitting longer hours, drinking sieved/processed juice as opposed to eating fruits and living sedentary lifestyles; the results of which are type 2 diabetes, increased heart diseases, among others”, Dr Lumu said.
He expressed concerns over poor feeding habits children are exposed to which in turn is bringing more cases of children with NCDs.
Dr. Lumu raised the alarm on presenting late to hospital, saying for example, a person with diabetes may have a wound on the foot, but is not aware. “If the person does not seek timely medical help, the foot maybe amputated”, he said, giving further examples of the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, the eyes and teeth and diabetes, among others.
“I urge people to screen and test regularly so that you are not coming to hospital to confirm,” said Lumu.
Dr. Julius Muhwezi who doubles as a senior police officer and volunteered at the camp cautioned patients against self medication.
At the event, Pamela narrated a story, in which her brother was wrongly misdiagnosed with ulcers, yet upon deeper examination in another hospital, he was found to have diabetes. “I watched him die-slowly…”, Ankunda shared.
“MAD is now more than a tribute. It is an idea-an advocacy or platform for
for better health, for patients rights to regular and timely testing, for sharing health and wellness information, among others. MAD is a voice, ” said Pamela.
Chris Kwizera from the Alliance of the Non Communicable diseases said the are increasingly worried of misdiagnosis cases.
“We are registering such many cases and urge the Ministry of Health to train health workers”, Kwizera said, adding that UNCDA which coordinates NCD groups has stomped its voice loud against corporations that present money over health.
“We dont take money from tobacco companies, from companies selling carbonated drinks, from companies whose products are increasing NCDs. However, we also urge you to be on the look out for healthy options,” kwizera said.
At the event, a case of an 8 year old type 2 diabetes patient-Daphine-was shared.
“I move with my syringes to school and everywhere. Because my parents dudnt live with me, I was under the care of my auntie and the maid. The first 5 years of my life, I fed on soda. It affected me. I’m now a diabetes warrior…”
The event attracted other medical facilities-Sanctuary Medical Centre and Norvik Hospital, including Doctors from Uganda Police Force.