Rwanda: Senators Call for More Attention On Non-Communicable Diseases

Members of the senatorial Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Human Rights and Petitions, have called for more efforts to prevent and treat Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are said to be on the rise in Rwanda.

Since Monday, the senators have been meeting different stakeholders in the health sector to understand how they currently deal with the diseases and how they think their prevention and care can be improved.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified four main types of NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma, as well as diabetes.

With about 2% of Rwandan patients affected by the NCDs, senators are worried that enough is probably not being done to curb the diseases.

The main emphasis should be on prevention against NCDs. We hope that these consultations in the Senate will come up with proposals on how to improve services for prevention and care against NCDs,” said Alexis Rulisa, the head of Mutuelle de Santé at the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB).

Some of the ways to prevent the diseases include eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco and alcohol use, and conducting regular general medical check-ups for early detection and treatment of the diseases.

Senator Gallican Niyongana, the chairperson of the senatorial Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Human Rights and Petitions, said that the committee’s consultations on NCDs will continue today with a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Health.

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