Ugandans Lose UGX 300b Annually on Medical Referrals Abroad

1851 Views Entebbe, Uganda

In short
The diseases are usually facilitated by raised blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, high levels of fat in the blood and excess weight and lifestyles such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, excess salt intake, and the harmful use of alcohol.

Ugandans lose about 300 billion Shillings annually on the medical referral of patients abroad, according to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng. Most of the referrals are chronic diseases like cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, and kidney diseases, which require transplants, and specialized operations, often undertaken in India.

The diseases are usually facilitated by raised blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, high levels of fat in the blood and excess weight and lifestyles such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, excess salt intake, and the harmful use of alcohol.

The diseases affect all age groups. However, a survey undertaken by the health ministry indicates that referrals in Uganda are more common among adults aged between 50 and 69 and more among females.  The groups, according to the survey are physically less active. Evidence shows that 15 million of all deaths recorded globally, as a result of non-communicable diseases occur between the ages of 30 and 69.

Aceng told journalists at Golf View Hotel in Entebbe that the prevalence of such diseases is anticipated to increase if individuals do not change to an active lifestyle.

The minister has also indicated that the amount of money lost would help the country to boost household incomes if only they engaged in physical activities that would prevent the contraction of such diseases.
 
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The ministry of health has now implored Ugandans to engage in creating favourable environments for regular exercises, make healthy foods available and affordable, and reduce salts and sugars in foods and beverages among others.

The Minister also asked that the government levies appropriate taxes against tobacco and alcohol consumption and create awareness amongst citizen in preventing non-communicable diseases.

Tabley Bakyaita, a commissioner in the Ministry of Health also indicated that 45 percent of the men in the country take excess alcohol which contributes to increased infections and spread of non-communicable diseases.
 
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