Rwandan Health officials on Tuesday said that the country will need to mobilise $638 million to finance a new 5-year campaign aimed at reducing premature mortality stemming from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent in 2025.Official reports indicate that NCDs and injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in Rwanda (almost 59 per cent).
On an alarming note, official data show that the number of cardiovascular patients treated in the country’s health facilities has more than tripled between 2018 and 2020 (from 25,353 in 2018 to 88,486 cases in 2020).
Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) associated with NCDs in Rwanda rose from 16 percent in 1990 to 35 per cent in 2016, indicating significant productivity loss in the country, it said
DALYs is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.
It said that despite the high burden of NCDs in Rwanda, the money spent on these conditions has remained low averaging 0.8 to 2 percent of the total health expenditure.
According to Dr Daniel Ngamije the Minister for Health, there is commitment to change this trend for Rwanda to effectively address the rising NCD burden
Rwanda’s new 5-year strategy to deal with NCDs will focus on preventing them through health promotion and reduction of risk factors.
It also focuses on strengthening disease surveillance and research, monitoring and evaluation for evidence-based interventions, improving health system response for early NCD detection and quality care at all levels.
“The detection coverage rate is low like for chronic respiratory diseases. For example, for asthma it is at 7.5 per cent, for diabetes we are at 4 percent which is really low. We need to increase the screening and early detection of NCDs so that we can act on time,” Dr Ngamije said.