Twelve medical students in Kitgum have decided to prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension within the community.
The students have teamed under Kitgum Medical Students' Association, KIMSA, with an aim of sensitizing members of their communities during their vacation on how to prevent chronic illness.
Members of KIMSA are drawn from both medical and paramedical schools. Francis Pebalo a medical student at Gulu University, and chairperson of KIMSA says they decided to come up with the awareness campaign because less attention is paid to them by both the government and organizations fighting diseases.
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Pebalo says it is unfortunate that most people can't easily detect such diseases and they seek medical attention rather late which makes their management a big challenge.
Joel Komakech, a medical student at Gulu Clinical School and the general secretary of KIMSA, discloses that the main aim of the campaign is to teach the community how to identify the signs of the diseases.
Komakech adds that the drive will also equip the community with causes of the diseases non pharmacological management methods, like change of diet, better health behavior and coping mechanisms.
He adds that the campaign aims to identify people with the disease and refer them for proper management at health units. Alice Lamwaka the vice president of Uganda Diabetics Association says that there are currently over 2000 people with diabetes.
Lamwaka says the patients travel from Pader, Kitgum, Mbale and Entebbe to seek medical aid in the Gulu Diabetes centre.
She attributes that rampant number of cases to poor diet of mainly carbohydrates that people feed on.
She welcomes the move by the students to educate people on how to prevent and manage chronic illnesses.