The government will soon undertake a survey to ascertain the number of people suffering from Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country, the Minister of Health has said.
Dr Agnes Binagwaho was speaking in Kigali, yesterday, during a one-day meeting with stakeholders in the health sector.
NCDs are chronic and non-infectious diseases, and include diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and pulmonary illnesses.
NCDs are associated with malnutrition, infection, congenital abnormalities, toxic environments, and lack of access to health care services required to tackle NCDs early enough.
The minister said that currently the country lacks figures about the situation of NCDs.
Binagwaho said that strategies are going to be created to tackle NCDs in the country. She also called upon Rwandans to watch their lifestyles, sugar content, and the type of food they eat in order to prevent suffering from NCD's.
"We are going to study the sugar content of the drinks in the entire beverage manufacturing companies in Rwanda to see if there is need to reduce in case it's a lot," the minister said.
The Director General, Clinical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Yohanimana Ngirabega, said that more medics will be trained and more equipment provided to health facilities to help fight NCDs.
According to Francois Gishoma, the president of Rwanda Association of Diabetes (ARD), the biggest challenge being faced with non communicable diseases, such as diabetes, is the high cost of care and treatment.