Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic or lifestyle diseases are not easily transferable from one person to another either through direct contact or vectors. These diseases are increasingly becoming common in Uganda due to unhealthy lifestyles that people are adopting.

NCDs, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and chronic respiratory ailments represent 46 per cent of the global burden of disease and they cause an estimated 35 million deaths each year. An estimated 80 per cent of non-communicable diseases deaths occur in low and middle income countries like Uganda. The rise of NCDs poses a big challenge to Uganda’s health system.

Today, 25 per cent of Ugandans die from non-communicable diseases and this is increasing every year. But we are still fighting the battle against many infectious diseases –such as malaria, meningitis and HIV, which remain the biggest killers of people in Uganda. The following can be done to address the silent killers:
Avoiding smoking, chewing marijuana, Shisha and any other form of tobacco use; having regular physical exercise; avoiding alcohol abuse, by for example, not consuming more than two 330mls of standard beer a day for males and one for females.

Others are eating healthy foods with less fat, less sugar and less salt. You should also eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruits. Also avoid adding raw salt in food.

You should have a health check up at least once a year. Visit your health worker even if you have no complaint for a medical check-up.
Dornam Ahumuza,
dornamz@yahoo.co.uk