GOV’T SIGNS MOU AIMED AT INCREASING ACCESS TO NCDs MEDICATION

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Government through ministry of health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Novartis Access, to increase patients’ access to treatment for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Fifteen high quality medicines targeting four key Non Communicable Diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer – will be availed countrywide.

Under this MoU, the treatment will be provided to Government at a cost of one US dollar per treatment per month supplied through the National Medical Stores and Joint Medical Stores.

The agreement will also cover capacity building activities for medical practitioners as well as sensitization of the public in prevention and early detection of NCDs.

The first order will include the following drugs across all key NCDs: Valsartan that cures hypertension, Amlodipine  for both hypertension and heart failure, Vildagliptin for diabetes, Amoxicillin Dispersible tablets for respiratory infections, Salbutamol for asthma, and Letrozole for breast cancer, and will all be available at the public health facilities before end of the year.

These medicines have been selected based on their medical relevance and are currently going through local registration.

According to Dr Diana Atwine, the ministry of health permanent secretary, Uganda is facing a significant rise in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as a result of urbanization and many other factors, adding that a recently concluded national NCD risk factor survey showed that one in every four adults in Uganda suffers from a noncommunicable Disease.

She also notes that Ministry of Health has already established an NCD program to coordinate all efforts toward NCD

prevention and control, as part of its commitment to increase awareness on NCDs. in April 2017, a parliamentary forum was held to promote the importance of regular screening, diagnosis and treatment for NCDs.

Uganda will become the fourth country in Africa alongside Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia to roll out Novartis Access, an initiative to enhance access to healthcare for patients in the lower to emerging middle income classes.

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