Novartis, urges Govt on NCD Legal framework

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Dr.Mulure ,(M) chats with the delegation from Novartis at Sheraton hotel on Tuesday.

By Kitts D.Mabonga

The health sector fraternity has been urged to engage government to enact a law that shall allow nurses to handle patients challenged with none communicable diseases (NCDs) as the infection rates are claiming more lives.

The NDC diseases include diabetes, hypertension, cancers and chronic illnesses that have become the new  killer disease burden in Africa  stemming from changing lifestyles and eating habits among the populations.

Dr.Nathan Mulure,the cluster head for East and Southern Africa at Novartis social business told a news conference this morning at Sheraton hotel in Kampala about their forthcoming greater stakeholder conference to discuss key health issues affecting the lives of the African population of which is scheduled for tomorrow in Kampala.

He said stakeholders in this sector should engage their government to ensure that they set up legislation that allows nurses to handle patients suffering from NCD burden because these cases are exclusively handled by specialists who are few in numbers so that the nurses can handle the primary level of treatment at health centre 2 and 3 which is the first contact with patients before referral to specialists.

Dr.Mulure noted that many African countries are faced with increasing cases of deaths from none communicable diseases all attributed to poor or changing lifestyles among the youth in specific areas like drinking excessive alcohol,deliberate consumption of junk foods and lack of access to medical services among others.

He observed that as part of their efforts to address the Africa and Asia region particularly the continued malaria burden,there are KAF 156 antimalarial trial centers operational in nine countries including Uganda and that as per their commitment made on World Malaria day,they are setting aside USD$100 M investment to advance research and development of the next_generation antimalarial treatments over the next five years to combat emerging resistance within this burden.

The Novartis global communications managerArzumUstun said they are going to engage with the key stakeholders both in government and private sector to ensure that solutions to reducing the disease burden is reached.

“Novartis is also in well advanced discussions with faith_based and private sector organizations to support our public health efforts in Uganda alongside engaging collaborations with the Uganda heart institute and Uganda cancer institute who both operate specialized and modern treatment centers which provide state of the art care “ said Ustun.

She said that their efforts to combat the rising burden of chronic diseases in Uganda, has alsohelped them partner with the Uganda heart institute and the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB) to start capacity building activities, providing none communicable diseases training to doctors, nurses and healthcare workers as a deliberate strategy to reduce on the infection burden through sensitization of the masses.

Nadine Schecker from  the communications docket observed that it was important that people are encouraged to desist from unfriendly acts of  poor eating and new digital era lifestyles as these may accelerate the infection rates especially among the young population.

Alexandra Rupp observed that they are in Africa to try to discuss mechanism that can help build a strong joint position to help combat the surging cases of infections.

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