By Wezzie Gausi:
A Ministry of Health Annual Report has revealed that diabetes prevalence is increasing throughout Malawi, fuelled by a rise in type 2 diabetes.
The report, which Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda released last week and has put in focus activities that occurred in 2021, shows that Central West and South East zones have contributed to the increase in cases.
Central West Zone comprises districts such as Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Ntchisi and Salima while South East Zone is made up of Chikwawa, Machinga, Blantyre and Mangochi.
The report also shows that, on average, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing two-fold each year and that there is a need to invest more in data collection and analysis, coupled with community screening.
“The Southeast Zone reports higher percentile in both Type 1 and 2 diabetes as compared to other zones.
“Central East Zone has the least number of clients diagnosed with diabetes. This can be attributed to several factors ranging from medical consumables for diagnosing diabetes [to the presence of] health personnel to record all management points of NCD management, to mention a few,” the report reads.
The report emphasises the need to intensify screening efforts and provide care to those diagnosed with non-communicable diseases as early as possible to avoid premature deaths.