Welcome Note for the Makerere International NCD Symposium 2018

Prof. Fred Wabwire-Mangen
Chairperson Organizing Committee

Non-communicable diseases represent a growing burden of morbidity and mortality globally. NCDs did not feature in the old United Nations millennium development goals (MDG) but are now included in the Sustainable Development Goals aim to reduce by one third premature deaths due to NCDs. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2015, 70% of all deaths in people less than 70 years of age will be due to NCDs and that 80% of these deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries but more so in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). It is estimated that 28 million people in LMICs die each year from an NCD. In addition, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which includes 48 low- and middle-income countries, is expected to have the world’s largest increase in the burden of NCD-related death over the next decade. SSA faces unique risk factors for NCDs including rapid urbanization, a large, aging population of people living with HIV/AIDS, and household air pollution.

Despite the evidence of a high burden of NCDs in Africa, the response to these diseases in Africa is still minimal. The health systems are weak and organized around communicable diseases. There is limited data (-epidemiological, biomedical, and clinical) to support the design of prevention and care interventions in for NCDs in Africa.  In view of the foregoing, Makerere University College of Health Sciences has undertaken to organize the first ever international NCD symposium in Kampala (MakNCD symposium)

Objectives of the symposium

The MakNCD symposium is organized to achieve the goal of creating attention to the NDC epidemic among researchers, clinicians, funders, and policy makers that will result into a formidable multidisplinary response to stop the epidemic. The symposium is expected to achieve the following:

  1. Bring together researchers, clinicians, public health specialists, civil society, community leaders, policy makers, and funding agencies, pharmaceutical companies from Africa and beyond to discuss the unrecognized yet growing epidemic of NCDs in Africa.
  2. To create a platform for the discussion of currently available data on NCDs in Africa and how it can be used to design interventions to control the NCD epidemic.
  3. Generate road maps and resolutions for immediate action by governments and implementing partners in Africa to control the NCD epidemic.
  4. Build capacity into key skills needed for an effective NCD response
  5. Create awareness among conference attendees and the public about the burden of NCDs
  6. Create networks and consortium that will work together to generate data and design interventions on NCDs