Parliamentary Forum on Non Communicable Diseases

Background

The Parliamentary Forum on Non-Communicable Diseases (PFNCD) was formed in 2011, to drum up the need for appropriate interventions for controlling NCDs which had become and remained silent killers. We believe that prevention is vital to the control of NCDs, and law is an important tool for achieving this goal and that addressing NCDs and their risk-factors is the most powerful way of improving longevity and healthy life expectancy for the foreseeable future in Uganda.

The Forum provides a strategic positioning for Members of Parliament to take advantage of their legislative, budgeting and oversight roles to ensure effective national health regulation, equitable investment and health planning by government.

Vision: To see a Uganda with a multi dimensional approach to fight against the spread of NCDs

Mission: To reduce the prevalence rate of NCDs in Uganda

Strategic objectives

i)    To implement the resolutions of the UN September summit in New York.
ii)    To advocate for policy formulation by government in support of the NCD Alliance.
iii)    To create awareness of NCDs with in parliament and in the various constituencies.
iv)    To lobby for resources to support all functionalities of NCD bodies and agencies in the country.

PFNCD Accomplishments since inception:  

•    Realizing tobacco use as a key risk factor for NCDs, PFNCD through a private member moved and seconded a motion to enact a tobacco control Bill to protect Ugandans of today and generations to come from the hazardous effects of tobacco use. The bill is due for second reading and we anticipate it will be passed soon.

•    On inactive living the forum is promoting physical activity encouraging the public to walk or ride; to work, to store, to market, to schools etc, and engaging in physical exercise and advocating for physical exercise facilities at work places.

•    On Unhealthy feeding – The Forum is sensitizing the masses on healthy feeding; encouraging a shift from sugar, fats and salt diets to more fruits and vegetables.   

•    On harmful alcohol consumption: The Forum picking experience from the  Tobacco Control bill and  is in the early stages of drafting a bill to control alcohol consumption in the country.

•    PFNCD is also advocating for early screening for cervical and prostate cancers and demanding for HPV vaccination for all girls aged 12 yrs.

The NCD Problem:   
Cardiovascular and cerebral-vascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases are the major NCDs that have been affecting people's health in Uganda and the world over. The prevalence of NCDs is closely linked to socio-economic conditions, ecological environment, culture, customs, lifestyle and other factors such as fast industrialization, urbanization, and aging.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that NCDs were responsible for 63 percent of all deaths in 2008, 80% of the deaths occurring in low and middle income countries and 9 million people dying before the age of 60. WHO also projects those NCDs deaths will increase by 17% over the next ten years and will cause 46% of deaths in Africa by the year 2030.

NCDs are characterized by life time duration after onset, high prevalence, costly health care expenditures as well as high disability and premature mortality rates.

In Uganda,

•    The NCD magnitude is not known, data from health facility data does not give the complete picture of the problem. This has resulted into;
o    A general lack of public awareness of NCDs and their risk factors; many more people are sick or dying silently in their communities than those who report to health facilities.
o    Political leaders and policy makers not being fully aware of the magnitude of NCDs and their risk factors leading to low profiling and financing of NCDs interventions in the MOH structure
o    Lack of national policy, strategies, standards and guidelines to direct the prevention and control of NCDs

•    The number of Ugandans living with NCDs has been increasing dramatically, making NCDs a major public health threat. For instance 74,354 new cases of diabetes were seen at health facilities in Uganda in 2009-10 compared to 58,523 5years earlier showing an increase of 27% (HMIS data 2009/10). In 2013, the Uganda diabetes association revealed that over 200,000 children had diabetes and expressed fears the number could be higher because many of the children do not report to hospital for diagnosis
 
•    NCDs were estimated to account for 27% of the 353,000 total deaths and the probability of one dying between ages 30 and 70 years from the 4 main NCDs is 21% (WHO NCD Country profiles, 2014).

•    NCDs can impoverish countries and families, leading to serious socio-economic problems. For instance, annually, one cancer patient requires USHs 6M for drugs alone to complete the recommended six cycles of treatment (Uganda Cancer Institute) and In 2012/13 alone, USHs 2.5 billion was spent on open surgery and cardiac catheterization of only 2% of the 12,184 heart patients that enrolled at the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI)

•    The number of health workers adequately trained to prevent, screen and promptly manage NCDs is insufficient. Likewise, the number of health facilities adequately equipped to diagnose and effectively deal with NCDs is also wanting.

•    There are no community based interventions for prevention and management of NCDs

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE CURRENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE BELOW:

CHAIRMAN:            HON. NAMUGWANYA BENNY BUGEMBE    0772335633
VICE CHAIRMAN:     HON. NYAKIKONGORO ROSEMARY        0772419050
SECRETARY:        HON. EVELYN KAABULE MPAGI        0772442741
TREASURER:        HON. MARGARET KOMUHANGI            0772430094