The global burden of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) remains unacceptably high. In 2016, NCDs were responsible for 41 million of the world’s 57 million deaths (71%), 15 million of these deaths were premature (30 to 70 years) with the burden greatest in low- and middle- income countries, where 78% of all NCD deaths and 85% of premature deaths occurred.
In Sub Saharan Africa, this epidemiological transition has caused a double burden on the healthcare systems that face a significant prevalence of Infectious diseases. NCDs further put an economic burden on the population in a region where out of pocket expenditure for health is very high.
In Uganda, NCDs were estimated to account for 33% of all deaths in 2016 with the risk of premature death due to NCDs highest in the region. It is estimated that 3.2% of Ugandans have diabetes, 6% have cardiovascular diseases while 350 people out of every 100,000 have cancer with 8,000 new cases of cancer are recorded annually
The increasing incidence of NCDS is accounted for by various factors including lifestyle changes, environmental and population changes among others. To mitigate this rising burden, the health sector has put in place several measures that focus on prevention, treatment and control of NCDs in the country.
The sector however still faces challenges in establishing comprehensive programs to redress the burden of NCDs. There is therefore significant need for global health collaboration in areas of prevention and public health, Research, clinical care among others.
In a bid to support the health sector in strengthening its capacity against NCDs, the Uganda UK Health Alliance has an established NCD Consortium that brings together UK institutions and organisations implementing programs related to Non Communicable diseases.
In its role as a system leadership platform, the alliance provides coordination support for member activities and ensures that their programs are aligned to the priorities of NCD programs of the Health sector.
The Alliance further supports partnerships with local institutions, ensures shared learning and mutual collaboration amongst member organizations.