By Reuben Olita
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for 17 per cent of illnesses affecting residents in Busia County, Chief Officer in the Department of Health and Sanitation Jonathan Ino has revealed.
Ino said the growing lifestyle diseases among them hypertension and diabetes were as a result of locals not being keen on their dietary habits, where he emphasized the importance of residents embracing traditional foods which are healthier.
He made the remarks at the Matayos Sub County Hospital where the Principal Investigator, Primary Integrated Care for 4 Chronic Diseases (PIC4C) project Busia and Trans-Nzoia Counties, Dr Jemima Kamano donated a support group tent to NCD patients.
“NCDs are affecting many locals in the County. Lifestyle diseases depend on how you take care of your health especially the kind of foods consumed,” he said.
The Chief Officer added that: “Let us embrace the behavior of visiting hospitals to know our health status. Expectant women will be able to get holistic care as well as being advised on matters nutrition.”
Dr Kamano said that over 25 per cent of the adult population in the County is affected by hypertension, which is equivalent to almost 150, 000 people.
“We have 10,000 people on treatment out of 150, 000,” she said, adding that the County has over 3.7 per cent of the population with diabetes out of which 20 per cent are on treatment.
She further added that, “Those between the ages of 25 to 40 years are in danger with 8 per cent being pre- diabetes and pre-hypertensive,”
The Principal Investigator disclosed that in collaboration with other partners including the National Government they have developed a national support group framework that will guide the running of the groups and their relationship with the Counties.
“Whatever was captured in the framework was based on experiences by support groups in Busia and Trans-Nzoia Counties where the PIC4C project is piloted,” she said, stressing that once the document is out it will be disseminated before being adapted.
Others present included the Busia County NCD Coordinator, Dorah Mutonyi, the PIC4C Project Administrator Lillian Lusimbo, the County Health Management Team members and representatives of the support groups from across the County.