BUJUMBURA November 14th (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, in collaboration with the Burundi Non-communicable Disease Control Association (BNCDA), organized a conference in Bujumbura on Tuesday November 12 for sensitization and advocacy on non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

Indeed, on the 14th day of November each year, the world celebrates World Diabetes Day, a non-communicable disease that kills many people in both developed and developing countries.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Jean Baptiste Nzorironkankuze, organizing such a conference is an opportunity to raise awareness about these diseases and their risk factors. These diseases include cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, he said, noting that these are very expensive for families and the country, although they are largely avoidable.

According to Dr. Nzorironkankuze, chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the world. They share the same risk factors and represent not only one of the major causes of poverty, which is an obstacle to economic growth, but also a serious threat to sustainable development, he said.

According to the WHO’s 2018 report, these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill about 41 million people every year, accounting for about 71% of deaths worldwide. In Burundi as in most developing countries, non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental illnesses, sickle cell disease, various forms of physical disabilities, infections dental conditions, deafness and other conditions constitute, according to the same health authority, a huge challenge for the health system.

Dr Nzorironkankuze gives the example of diabetes, which is currently taking a worrying pace, as studies on this disease indicate that it is the third leading cause of hospitalization at the Kamenge University Hospital Center (CHUK) and 30% of lower limb amputations at Prince Regent Charles Hospital of Bujumbura. Although these non-communicable diseases are raging in our country and in the world, there is a way to prevent and control them, he said, adding that to achieve this, their determinants must be addressed and their common risk factors through multi-sectoral action involving all actors of government and society.

Note that 32% of deaths in Burundi are related to non-communicable diseases, according to the WHO report in 2018.

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