Plans afoot to start national programme for non-communicable diseases

18May 2019
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
Plans afoot to start national programme for non-communicable diseases

THE government plans to start the national programme for the non-communicable diseases, saying they are increasing becoming serious health threats in the country, the House heard yesterday.

Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Faustine Ndugulile.

Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Faustine Ndugulile told the lawmakers that just like in Aids, malaria and TB, the envisioned will increase public awareness on the diseases.

“It is the government’s commitment to ensure services and treatment for the non-communicable diseases are accessible at all levels from national hospitals to village dispensaries,” he said.

Ndugulile said the diseases are a great burden to the government since they are expensive to fighting them, adding that the programme would help reduce the risks after the public has become more aware of risks involved.

According to deputy minister, it cost between   700,000/- and 1,000,000/- to carryout kidney stones from the body while diabetes patients spend about   50,000/- to   100,000/- drugs per week.

Meanwhile, he also told the House that plans are afoot to start cancer treatment at the Mbeya regional hospital in efforts to reduce congestion at the Dar es Salaam based Ocean Road Cancer Institute.

He said that the government saw the need to bring services closer to people who were forced to travel all the way to Dar es Salaam for treatment.

He said this is part of the government plans to improve provision of treatment for chronic disease which had also seen the establishment of the Jakaya Kikwete Heart Institute.

He explained that the plan goes in hand with    with the improvement of services for blood pressure patients at Bugando hospital, KCMC and the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma.

Ndugulile made the explanations in response to a question by the Special Seats MP, Mwantumu Dau (CCM) who said that diabetes, cancer and blood pressure patients face a lot of problems.

She had wanted to know the government is doing to help them live with the challenges facing them.

The deputy minister further explained that the three diseases are among those that pose serious challenges in the country just like in other countries.

He said through the 2009-2015 Strategic Plan for the diseases, the government stated measures taken against the diseases, including free diagnosis and treatment at public health facilities.