Tanzania : Health Ministry turns to journalists to fight Non Communicable Diseases

By Mutayoba Arbogast,Tanzania

Dr James Kiologwe (in a stripped shirt and a coat ) at function.

TANZANIA Ministry of Health, has come in full swing to combat Non Communicable Diseases(NCDs) by deploying task force of journalists countrywide to give  public, appropriate awareness and education on how to avoid idling behaviours, which are risk factors, and protect their bodies against the diseases.

The statement was given by Dr James Charles Kiologwe, Assistant director  for NDs, who was speaking to journalists,12 September 2022,in a virtual  meeting organized by Ministry of Health.

He said the diseases are spreading fast and appealed to Tanzanians to change their lifestyles  including excessive  drinking and smoking.

He said the Regional NDCs team of Information  officers, NCDs coordinators and other officials, will comprise journalists so that they reach people at grassroot level, for collecting, processing and disseminate  information for the betterment of the society.

Pupils will benefit from appropriate awareness and education on NDCs through school clubs

Showing the magnitude of the problem, Dr Kiologwe said, according to researchers, for ten years time, risk factors of non communicable diseases have been  increasing compared to communicable diseases.

He mentioned the modifiable risk factors to be  high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, physical inactivity and high blood cholesterol, while the non modifiable risk factors involve age, gender, genetic, race and ethnicity.

That in 2009-2019 the risk factors for obesity has reached around 73 per cent, nutritional challenges had increased by 32 per cent, risk factors to tobacco have increased by14.8 per cent, alcohol 15.9 percent.

He said risk factors  of communicable diseases have been lowering, citing  the pollution which has decreased by 12 per cent.

More than two third of people suffering from non communicable diseases do not know their status,and  some report to hospital  at a complicated stage.

“There are challenges we need to  overcome together such as industrial and commercial advertisements  which promote unfriendly lifestyles, and when they come to your media, don’t don’t entertain them because they pay out but be patriotic  as the government spends a lot of money for health services”, said Dr Kiologwe.

Mohammed Ramadhani Makonda a journalist and presenter for Radio Kwizera in Ngara, Kagera region, wanted to know how the youth will be reached as have been affected a lot by lifestyles, stresses  and are rigid  to respond positively, just to be told, the ministry has  music and jingles to be played by radio stations and other media houses to lure  them in.





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