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Lifestyle diseases a danger to country, says ex-health minister

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Uganda Aids Commission Director General Christine Ondoa addresses students and staff at Mbarara university on Wednesday. PHOTO BY RAJAB MUKOMBOZI  

By RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

Posted  Thursday, April 10   2014 at  17:36
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MBARARA.
Uganda is faced with a serious danger posed by lifestyle-related diseases, former Health minister Christine Ondoa has said.
Dr Ondoa, who is currently the Director General, Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), said the World Health Organisation, has established that by the year 2025, the number of people suffering from and dying of lifestyle-related diseases will be more than those afflicted by malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids.

“As we are talking of HIV/Aids, we need to tell the population to be aware of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and obesity which are on the increase,’’ Dr Ondoa said on Wednesday at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

She was speaking during the institution’s belated Aids Day celebrations.
Dr Ondoa, however, noted that the lifestyle-related diseases can easily be avoided by increasing awareness on proper lifestyle.

University hailed
She hailed the university’s HIV/Aids policy and pledged UAC’s support which she said would include repackaging of messages targeting the students. She said hearing the same message repeatedly bores, especially the youth.

The Dean of Students, who is also the university’s HIV/Aids institutional policy patron, Mr Emmanuel Kyagaba, said the policy was launched in 2005 to mitigate effects of HIV/Aids.

Mr Kyagaba said the implementation of the policy faces a challenge of little funding, saying currently, the funds used are generated locally and internally and are inadequate.

Lifestyle diseases
Definition: Lifestyle diseases refer to diseases that result because of choices people make in their life. They are mostly common in developed nations where people are inclined towards eating unhealthy foods, having a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.
Ailments: Common lifestyle diseases include heart disease, cancer, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis.