LILONGWE—Malawians should join hands with government and non-governmental organisations in the fight against diabetes, says Dr. Beatrice Mwagomba, programme manager for non-communicable diseases in the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Mwagomba made the remarks on Saturday 28 July 2012 at Kalambo FP School, area 25, in Lilongwe during a community mobilization campaign on prevention of diabetes.
The ministry is working with Diabetes Association of Malawi and Journal Aids, a journalist organisation, in order to increase awareness and community participation in diabetes prevention.
“With the increase in prevalence of morbidity and mortality due to diabetes, the ministry of health is prioritizing diabetes, than all other non communicable diseases in its strategy for 2011-2016,” said Mwagomba. “One of the things which we want to do is the public heath approach to the control this disease diabetes. Despite not having enough specialists in this disease, we would like to identify and treat the patients as early as possible at primary health care level.”
She also said Malawi didn’t have enough places for diabetes treatment.
“It’s true that most of the specialized treatment for diabetes is found in the district and central hospitals, but now we have come up with guidelines for non communicable diseases intervention for not only diabetes [so]that health workers in health centers should be able to screen patients and give the primary medication from the health care level,” she said.
Mwagomba urged Malawians to restrain from heavy drinking.
“Harmful use of alcohol is one of the factors which contribute to diabetes because when one has taken too much alcohol it can overload the liver and it fails to properly function and break the sugar in the body. The limit for a man for a standard bottle of 300 milliliters, it’s five bottles and for a woman it’s four in a sitting,” she said.
In his remarks, Journal Aids executive director Christopher Bauti urged journalists to develop a special interest in reporting diseases such as diabetes.
“It’s important that journalist should be aware of what diabetes is all about, so that they can take the messages to the public. If you can observe in the past, there has only been an extensive coverage in the media on… Aids, malaria and other dieses but not diabetes, so we want the journalists to start covering this disease,” he said
In Malawi, six in every 100 people suffer from diabetes; half of these also have hypertension, according to health statistics.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.