In 2017, the Aga Khan University Nursing Program in Uganda started a campaign to raise awareness of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in rural areas of Uganda.
A pilot ‘medical camp’ was carried out in April 2018. Following its success, another camp took place in August 2018 in Gulu, Northern Uganda.
Many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, come under the definition of NCDs. The main risk factors of NCDs include tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet.
As the health workers closest to the community, it is critical that nurses receive the relevant education to prevent, manage and treat NCDs.
According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, NCDs account for 100,000 deaths in Uganda each year, including 22,000 people who are under the age of 70, which is considered to be premature. This is a significant increase compared to previous years, and follows a trend across Africa.