Aga Khan Hospital raises alarm over NCDs trend

THE Aga Khan Hospital has raised a red flag over an appalling trend of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) upon learning from patients seeking treatment at the hospital and its allied health centres.

The hospital noted that most patients they attended to were diagnosed with different types of NCDs.

“The diseases have been forcing the patients and their families to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for treatment costs, while others die because of delayed medical interventions,” said Mr Olayce Lotha, Aga Khan Hospital’s Senior Manager for Business Development.

The health burden causes economic effects to households while the government shoulders the burden since most patients resort to seeking treatment at public health facilities.

According to Mr Lotha, the Aga khan hospital serves an average of 800,000 patients a year, most of whom are diagnosed with different forms of NCDs at different levels, with majority of patients being not aware of their health status.

He was speaking in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, ahead of Tanzania health summit scheduled to take place next week in the country’s commercial capital.

He said costs associated with treatment of NCDs are high, hinting that treatment for a single patient amounts to 100m/- per year.

Mr Lotha urged members of the public to develop the culture of undergoing health checkup from time to time.

“The earlier the better in order to protect household income and rescue national workforce lost from such diseases,” he advised.

He mentioned some common NCDs treated at the hospital, as including different types of cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular and mental illnesses among others, which are less costly and treatable if early interventions are made.

“What is astonishing is that even those patients diagnosed with NCDs at Aga Khan and other health centre were not aware that   had such health problems until medical tests proved so,” he said.

Caused by poor lifestyle, the diseases affect mostly breadwinners and qualified labor force who drive the economy.

Aga Khan Hospitals are found in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam while other allied health centers are spread in different regions countrywide.

The hospital is known for having an integrated health system, which makes it easy to keep medical records for simplified tracing of patients’ history.

Medical officers at the health facilities are also able to learn from one another to improve their skills of attending to patients.

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