The East African Development Bank (EADB) commenced the training of 15 Ugandan medical practitioners in a bid to sensitize the masses about non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The training comes off a promise made by EADB to start a medical training programme aimed at sensitizing the communities of four East African states; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda where EADB operates.
The fellowship has just been concluded in Kenya where it had been going on for a period of one week.
The training has commenced today at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala where 15 medical practitioners are being trained for five days in the treatment of cancer and neurological disorders.
EADB Medical Training and Fellowship Programme will aim at increasing the number, quality and deployment of medical professionals in public service so as to cushion the burden of NCDs. Over a four year period, the program aims to have trained 600 medical professionals specializing in cancer treatment in the East African region.
The fellowship will focus on early detection, research and treatment of cancer and neurological disorders especially in communities and areas where access to qualified professionals remains a challenge.
Speaking at the start of the training, Ms. Vivienne Yeda, the Director General of EADB said; “In partnership with the British Council and the Royal College of Physicians, the East African Development Bank is offering fellowship to medical practitioners in four East African countries to assist in combating the fight against Non Communicable Diseases. In Uganda alone, there has been a recorded rise of cancer illnesses which is alarming. It is our goal to train as many doctors as we can to help in the fight against these diseases.”
Non Communicable Diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person. They are of long duration and generally slow progression. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors are an emerging problem in East Africa. In Uganda, it is reported that cancer kills almost 21,000 people every year.
Some of the fields that the doctors will be trained in will include; headaches, brain tumors, movement disorders, nerve and muscle diseases, brain infections, Epilepsy, Strokes, Spinal cord pathology and Dementia.
These diseases are driven by forces that include ageing, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles. For example, globalization of unhealthy lifestyles like unhealthy diets may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose, elevated blood lipids, and obesity. These are called ‘intermediate risk factors’ which can lead to cardiovascular disease, a NCD.
All age groups and regions are affected by NCDs. Very often, these illnesses are associated with older age groups, but evidence shows that 16 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur before the age of 70. Of these ‘premature’ deaths, 82% occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
Children, adults and the elderly alike are all vulnerable to the risk factors that contribute to Non-communicable diseases, whether from unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, exposure to tobacco smoke or the effects of the harmful use of alcohol.