The Institute of Applied Sciences (INES) is set to establish a centre for non-communicable diseases in Northern Province in an effort to foster research and raise awareness about such diseases.
The Musanze-based institute on Tuesday said that the centre will contribute to addressing obstacles related to non-communicable disease (NCDs) that hinder the attainment of sustainable development goals.
The school says that centre will be operational effective August 2019. It will be under the college's department of biomedical laboratory sciences.
"We want this centre to raise awareness and to address non-communicable disease impacts," said Dr Fabien Hagenimana, the Rector of INES.
This will be the first facility of its kind in the country. It comes at a time when the number of people who die due to non-communicable diseases is on the rise.
According to Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), deaths from non-communicable diseases account for 46 per cent of the total number of people who are killed by diseases, up from 23 per cent in 2000. The most common NCDs in Rwanda include high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and other respiratory diseases.
Dr Hagenimana stressed that the institute seeks to contribute to the country's efforts towards achieving its sustainable development goals.
"The idea to establish a non-communicable diseases centre to foster research on this diseases to raise awareness among the community but also to develop strategies and innovations that can help reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases on people's livelihood." Dr. Hagenimana pledged
Limited knowledge about non-communicable diseases among local communities and gaps in research were highlighted among the main hindrances to development.
The rector said that the school has already acquired all the requirements, including securing the budget to set up the centre. The college will initially invest Rwf25 million.
According to Dr Gilles Ndayisaba, the Division Manager of non-communicable diseases at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), non-communicable diseases are 'a difficult challenge'.
Ndayisaba commended efforts by INES Ruhengeri to set up a centre for non-communicable diseases saying that other schools countrywide should borrow a leaf from INES to ensure more citizens are aware of non-communicable diseases.
The 2018 World Health Organisation report shows that non-communicable diseases kill about 41 million people globally every year with nearly 80 per cent of deaths occurring in low and middle income countries.