WHO Joins Partners’ Congress in the Fight against Diabetes and Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)

WHO joined the East African Diabetes Study Group (EADSG) in an NCD symposium held recently to share best practices and progress of NCD interventions across countries. The two day symposium was attended by among others, delegates from the Diabetes Study group, World Diabetes Foundation, Ministries of Health of 15 countries in East, Central and Southern Africa, the African Union, NCD Alliance, WHO country offices, WHO Inter country Support Team and the Regional Office for Africa.

The meeting was officiated by the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Prof. Muhammad Bakari. In his speech, he noted with concern the emerging double burden of diseases in developing countries, both Communicable and Non Communicable. He reassured partners of his Government’s commitment in ensuring access to affordable essential medicines and monitoring of supplies for NCDs services. He requested all stakeholders’ development partners, civil society, private sector and the community to work together and ensure intended services reach end users.

The WHO Representative for Tanzania, Dr. Rufaro Chatora, in his remarks, reiterated WHO’s commitment in the fight against diabetes and other NCDs.  Dr. Chatora emphasized need for increased NCDs prevention interventions quoting the growing prevalence for major NCDs in Tanzania as reported in the STEPs Survey for NCDs risk factors, Zanzibar (2011) and Tanzania Mainland (2012). The WHO Global Action Plan on NCDs 2013-2020 and  four time–bound commitments to 2018 were also presented.

The meeting noted the steady increase of NCDs across all participating countries. In spite of some progress, the increasing demand for prevention, control and NCD rehabilitation services were among appalling challenges. Inadequate systems hindered quality services provision while lack of multisectoral coordination denied opportunities for comprehensive NCDs interventions.

The meeting came up with “The 2016 Dar-es-salaam Call To Action on Diabetes and NCDs”. Proposed actions included; Strengthening of NCDs units of Ministries of Health, finalization of NCD multisectoral Action Plans, establishment of NCDs multisectoral committees, capacity building at primary care and community level, emphasis being on NCDs awareness and prevention, active involvement of CSOs, communities and people affected with NCDs, resources mobilization, and the need to pursue opportunities for integrating NCDs services into other programmes.