NCDs – the global and local context
The World Health Organization defines NCDs as chronic diseases that are not passed from person to person. The major globally prioritized NCDs are cardiovascular disease (including stroke and heart attack), diabetes, cancers, and chronic lung diseases (like asthma and emphysema). Other NCDs of major worldwide importance are mental illnesses such as depression, neurological disorders such as epilepsy, and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. Together, NCDs are responsible for 60 percent of deaths worldwide. Eighty percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and no region on earth is experiencing a faster rise in NCDs than sub-Saharan Africa. Since NCDs effects people in poor countries at younger ages than in rich countries, the economic losses from NCDs are massive- about $7 trillion- and growing.
Uganda, a country of over 30 million people in East Africa, is being greatly affected by NCDs. Moreso, like most low- and middle-income countries in the world, Uganda is facing a troubling double burden of disease. In other words, infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (as well as many others) remain a huge problem just as the burden of NCDs is rising. This places major stresses on Uganda’s health system- one that is not prepared to cater to these complex, inter-related, chronic diseases. Instead of addressing these diseases in an integrated fashion, all too often, the health system has a very fragmented approach that is not good for patients, healthcare workers, or the system.
UINCD is working to shift the paradigm in Uganda. We also want our work to be scalable to other countries- both poor and rich. It’s not just low- and middle-income countries which will benefit from new models of integrated delivery platforms for NCDs. High income, developed countries have much to learn about integration of chronic disease management as well.
Assessment of the capacity of Ugandan health facilities, personnel, and resources to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases
A feasibility trial of a multiphase intervention to increase screening, diagnosis, and effective triage at a busy outpatient clinic in Kampala, Uganda
Integrated NCD training for healthcare workers at Mulago National Referral Hospital
Exploring knowledge and attitudes toward non-communicable diseases among Village Health Teams in Eastern Uganda
Evaluation of Ministry of Health nationwide NCD training activities
Development of a novel tool for measuring, mapping, and monitoring disparities in access to essential medicines for NCDs in Uganda
Prescribing and dispensing practices for essential medicines to treat non-communicable disease in public and private health facilities in Uganda
Center of excellence for patient-centered care and NCD management in Uganda