NCD patients fight for privacy
People living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country have called for increased privacy in
public healthcare service delivery points.
Those affected cite long hours at health facilities, inadequate care and shortage of specialised health
personnel in hospitals as other challenges they face.
“I feel shy when I go to a health facility to receive help and, instead of being called by name, I am identified by my condition,” said Angella.
Watson, a resident of Area 23 in Lilongwe. Jones Rodgers Kaluba of Chilinde 2 in Lilongwe concurred
with her, further calling for the establishment of a specialised facility for people with NCDs.
“Most of us are in pain and require immediate support when we go to the hospital, which is not often the case,” Kaluba said.
However, Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said the country’s healthcare service facilities were
well-equipped to handle NCDs.
“All central hospitals, district hospitals and urban health centres have NCD clinics. We also have specialists in all central hospitals who are managing NCDs, apart from some specialist doctors who are undergoing training to increase the workforce,” Chikumbe said.
In a related development, the NCD Alliance in Malawi, in partnership with Our Views Our Voices, has been conducting community conversation with people living with NCDs to better understand their needs and challenges.
Our Views Our Voices Project Officer Samuel Kumwanje said he was hopeful that discussions with stakeholders would inform the national advocacy agenda and the global charter on NCDs.
“At the end of the day, we want to amplify the voices of people living with NCDs so that they are
supported based on their experiences, challenges and recommendations,” Kumwanje said.
NCDs account for 28 percent of all deaths in Malawi.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.