Fight against diabetes receives major boost

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By Allan Chekwech

Posted  Wednesday, December 11   2013 at  11:52

In Summary

According to MOH, about two million people live with diabetes in Uganda.


The fight against diabetes has received a major boost following the launch of an awareness and prevention campaign about the disease. Merck, the World’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company, has partnered with the Ministry of Health, Mulago Hospital, Makerere University College of Health, and Ugandan Diabetes Association in rolling out the Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Campaign in Uganda.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Kampala last week, Ms Sarah Opendi, the State Minister for Primary Health care, said: “Today marks another key milestone in our efforts to reduce the high incidence of diabetes in Uganda in partnership with Merck.”

She added: “The rising numbers of diabetics allover the world call for prioritising diabetes care and awareness to prevent the disease from turning into a national epidemic. This campaign will complement our efforts to the improvement of the health care system in Uganda in particular and in Africa at large through educating and empowering those affected by diabetes in one way or another on how to manage and prevent it…”

Dubbed ‘Get-Informed-Get-Active- Get-Healthier’, the campaign aims to reverse the worrying trend of increase of diabetes by preventing or delaying the development of the disease among Ugandans. Mr Elcin Ergun, the senior vice president of Merck Serono, Intercontinental Region, said: “We are fully committed to partner with the government, health care institutions, academia and other stakeholders to develop, and deliver solutions to increase access to health solutions…”

“Diabetes may not present with symptoms and hence a disease of late diagnosis after complications such as blindness, foot ulcers or gangrene and heart diseases have developed. Merck has committed itself to fight diabetes via their capacity advancement programme and diabetes awareness campaign,” Dr William Lumu, the Chairman of Uganda Diabetes Association, said.

Prof Nelson Sewankambo, the principal College of Health, emphasised that Makerere University is happy to associate with other institutions whose overall objectives and goals are directed towards health care.