BUJUMBURA December 30th (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS organized, on Tuesday December 28, 2021, through its Integrated National Program to Fight Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and in collaboration with Burundi no-communicable Deseases Alliance (BNCDA), an advocacy workshop with political decision-makers, for the prioritization of the management of chronically non-communicable patients in the government’s response to Covid-19, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
At the opening of the workshop, the representative of the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS in that activity, Dr Oscar Ntihabose, indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the whole world for more than two years and the Burundi, like other countries, has also been affected.
By way of illustration, he reported that this pandemic has already affected more than 238 million people with more than 4 million deaths worldwide. He added that in Burundi, more than 23,657 cases of Covid-19 have already been confirmed and 14 deaths recorded.
Dr Ntihabose clarified that since the start of this pandemic it has been shown that people living with chronic non-communicable diseases are among the most affected categories, along with the elderly and other people with low immunity.
He continued to say that this pandemic has affected many health systems, which were not prepared for it, especially in middle- and low-income countries, where health systems have struggled to cope with the pandemic.
Despite this, the countries have done their best in the continuous fight against such a pandemic. He noted that in Burundi, campaigns have been carried out by different stakeholders, including the one initiated by the President of the Republic of Burundi, “Ndakira, Sinandura, kandi Sinanduza Covid-19,” in order to sensitize the people to adopt barrier gestures. Testing centers have also been set up to facilitate access to healthcare for the people and continue to be extended throughout the country.
He said people living with chronic non-communicable diseases are also a concern of the government in general and of the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS in particular.
In fact, he added, with the start of vaccination against Covid-19, they were put in the category of people subject to priority. On that occasion, he thanked the various partners of the government for all the support and for the efforts made for the good of people.
He also thanked the BNCDA for its various efforts, which it continues to deploy, in support of the Ministry of Public Health and the government, in favor of people living with chronic diseases.
Taking the floor, the Secretary General of the BNCDA, Dr Egide Haragirimana, recalled that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major public health problem. He specified that the results of various studies indicate that patients with certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney and liver conditions are more likely to be affected by Covid-19.
He added that those patients have a higher risk of contracting a severe form of the disease and are more likely to die from Covid-19.
Thus, Dr Haragirimana asked patients who have chronic non-communicable diseases to respect barrier measures, and to take medication regularly.
He also urged the Burundi government to strengthen the awareness of patients on the importance of regular control of chronic non-communicable diseases.