Ensuring Life, Health and Prosperity for Future Generations

> Diabetes body queries use of Shs220m by Health Ministry

KAMPALA (March 21, 2008)

THE Uganda Diabetes Association (UDA) is querying the use of US$ 129,000 (shs220 million) that was donated to the ministry of health to carry out a national survey on diabetes two years ago.

The information from the survey would guide the Ministry of Health in the development of a national policy on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and the appropriate interventions for the control and prevention of diabetes.

Uganda still lacks a clear policy framework and guidelines for prevention and control of such diseases according to the MoH due to lack of information on their prevalence and magnitude.

Half of the money was to facilitate a project on improving diabetes care in the four districts of Arua, Kabale, Wakiso and Amuria.

The money was donated by the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) but according to UDA, the survey has never been carried out and the results of project in the four districts are not satisfactory.

According to UDA secretary, John McAdam Okech, there is no transparency and accountability on the utilisation of funds by the ministry of health.

“In 2005/06. World Diabetes Foundation donated US$ 67,000 only as part funding for a national wide survey on diabetes. Up to now, there is no report from the Ministry of Health on the said project,” he told Daily Monitor yesterday.

An estimated 500,000 to one million Ugandans suffer silently with diabetes yet many are still undiagnosed.

Diabetes, a high death rate chronic disease, is characterized by thirst, weight loss and weakness. It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, when the body cannot effectively use the insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) it produces.

Once untreated, the patient wastes away, goes into a coma and dies. According to Dr Lawrence Kaggwa, the director of planning and human resource at the health ministry, the money was not enough to carry out the survey.

“It is true. It has been a long time. There was some money from WDF but the budget was Shs300 million,” he said during the launch of a new diabetes drug last Friday.


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