Rwanda launches week long campaign against Diabetes

The Ministry of health through Rwanda Biomedical centre has dedicated a week to different

sensitization activities in a bid to generate awareness on dangerous diabetes ahead of the World

Diabetes Day, celebrated on November 14, annually.

The sensitisation activities started on November 6 th , they feature free diabetes, Heart diseases, Eye

diseases screening as well as providing information on diabetes and NCDs.Provincial Non

Communicable Diseases screening activities and mass sports will be held in Karongi, Rwamagana,

Nyanza and Musanze.

As party of the awareness campaign, RBC and MOH staff will get free screening and guided sports

activities to emphasize exercise as one of the prevention measures. Along with these activities, Mass

Awareness and Education about Diabetes is planned.

According to RBC, all these activities aim at improving the population’s knowledge on Diabetes and

show the importance of sports in combatting Diabetes as a preventive measure.

“Our population should be aware of not only diabetes but also Non Communicable diseases and the

best health ways of living to avoid these diseases,” says Marie Aimee Muhimpundu, Head of NCDs

Division at RBC.

Other objectives include increasing awareness on the benefits of to voluntary annual medical

checkup for early diagnosis and prevention and advocating for stronger health systems to ensure

improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of NCDs.

The Ministry of health intends to curb the morbidity and mortality related to NCDs by increasing

awareness on preventive measures and increasing access to diagnosis, treatment and quality care

for the whole population. The country's effort to prevent and treat diabetes is important to achieve

the global Sustainable Development Goal 3rd target of reducing premature mortality from non-

communicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030.

In Rwanda, a 2013 survey conducted by The Ministry of Health in collaboration with World Health

Organization estimated that 175,575 people (between the ages of 15-64) are living with diabetes,

that corresponds to the prevalence of 3% among the population. However, almost half of them are

not diagnosed, meaning that they are not aware that they have diabetes.” HMIS reported 545

deaths due to diabetes.

Globally, approximately 5.0 million people aged between 20 and 79 years died from diabetes in

2015, equivalent to one death every six seconds. Diabetes accounted for 14.5% of global all-cause

mortality among people this age group. This is higher than the combined number of deaths from the

infectious diseases (1.5 million deaths from HIV/AIDS, 1.5 million from tuberculosis and 0.6 million

from malaria in 2013). Close to half (46.6%) of deaths due to diabetes are in people under the age of

60, according to World Health Organization, Global Health Observatory Data Repository.

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