By Wezzie Gausi:
High Blood Pressure (BP) has been singled out as one of the top non-communicable diseases (NCD) that are killing people in the country and is believed to be causing 40 percent of deaths caused by NCDs.
Ministry of Health Chief of Health Services Queen Dube disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting on NCDs in Lilongwe Thursday.
She described NCDs as a serious cause of high morbidity and mortality rates in the country.
Dube said the ministry had come up with a strategy to make sure that issues of NCD were tackled at all levels in the country.
“Non-communicable diseases and injuries account for nearly 70 percent of deaths worldwide, with an estimated 75 percent of these deaths occurring in low-and middle-income countries. In Malawi, lots of lives are lost due to lack of equipment for early diagnosis of the problems.
“We are encouraging people to develop a culture of seeking medical help when they are not feeling okay. Let them be free to ask for BP, diabetes tests and many other services related to non-communicable diseases when they visit the hospital,” Dube said.
Partners in Health NCD physician Todd Ruderman said countless people lose their lives because of late diagnosis.
Ruderman said the country needed to have proper equipment for early diagnosis.
“All that the country needs is to have proper resources if we are to contain the disease. We need equipment to be available at every health facility in the country so that people can access services without challenges,” Ruderman said.
Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director George Jobe said time had come to mobilise adequate resources towards the cause.
He added that the government should consider holding sensitisation meetings frequently on the dangers of the disease.
“Well, the statistics indicate that people are losing their lives to NCDs. We, as a country, need to come together and come up with solutions as soon as possible,” Jobe said.
Apart from BP, some of the NCDss include asthma, cancer and sugar.