Health workers have decried the increasing cases of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that are silently killing people.
Speaking at a health community event against diabetes Dr William Lumu, a physician and diabetes researcher, expressed concern about the increase that he attributes to over poor feeding habits even exposed to children in turn bringing more cases of children with NCDs.
“We are seeing many patients presenting symptoms of diseases that are either preventable or manageable and this is worrying. Something must be done. People are not focusing on wellness in general. Eating abnormally in large quantities, sitting for longer hours, drinking sieved or processed juice as opposed to eating fruits and living sedentary lifestyles result in type 2 diabetes and increased heart diseases among others,” he said.
The physician expressed concern about presenting late to hospital resulting in poor health.
“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,” Dr Lumu advises.
Mr Chris Kwizera from the Uganda Non Communicable Diseases (UNCDA) Alliance, said they 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 don’t 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 lookout for healthy options,” Mr Kwizera said.
At the event that focused on free screening and testing for Body Mass Index (BMI), diabetes and prostate cancer among others, a case of an eight-year old type 2 diabetes patient-Daphine-was shared.
“I move with my syringes to school and everywhere. Because my parents didn’t live with me, I was under the care of my aunt and the maid. The first five years of my life, I fed on soda. It affected me. I’m now a diabetes warrior…” she said.
At the event, dubbed Mark Against Diabetes (MAD) organised by Ms Pamela Ankunda, she 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.” Ms Ankunda shared.
“MAD is now more than a tribute. It is an idea, an advocacy or platform for better health, for patients’ rights to regular and timely testing, for sharing health and wellness information, among others. MAD is a voice.” She added.
Dr Julius Muhwezi who doubles as a senior police officer and volunteered at the camp cautioned patients against self-medication.
The event attracted many medical facilities and doctors from the Uganda Police Force.