April 10, 2013

Minister Ondoa: High Blood Pressure Emerging Silent Killer in Uganda

High blood pressure has been singled out as a silent killer, and the public urged to make regular medical check-ups to help reduce its occurrence and that of other non-communicable diseases.

Speaking ahead of the world health day to be marked on 12th April 2013, Minister of Health Christine Ondoa noted that there is a 25% increase in lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, hypertension, cancers, diabetes, and kidney diseases.

Ondoa pointed out that high blood pressure accounts for over 100 million shillings losses in healthy lives across the world, in Uganda the rates are high in urban areas.

Ondoa explained that communicable diseases become silent killers, if they are not prevented in time. She said that most communicable disease do not manifest symptoms, making it hard to diagnose on time.

Ondoa noted such diseases were on the increase in the country, yet patients wait until the ailment is advanced before they can seek medical check-ups although the Ministry has ample facilities.

She advised that even as the household incomes are improved, the public should be aware of a reckless lifestyle, poor eating habits, irresponsible sexual behaviour and unhealthy routines to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.

While Dr. Gerald Mutungi, Programmes Manager at the Non Communicable Diseases Centre at the Ministry of Health, mentioned lack of exercises, tobacco use, excessive consumption of alcohol, as increasingly common in the society, especially young people.

Dr. Mutungi disputed assumptions that check-ups were expensive.

Dr. Dominic Mundrugo, President of the Veterinary Association, advised the public to resort to healthy diets like eating white meat instead of red meat.

He explained that white meat is found in chicken, fish and rabbits of which can be reared locally at home to supplement the dietary needs.

In line with the world health day, free screenings for high blood pressure will be done from 8th to 12th in Budaka and neighbouring districts.

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