By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The government is worried with increased cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Population, Charles Mwansambo, said public hospitals continue to register increased cases of diabetes and high blood pressure.
“One-third of patients in the country’s hospitals are seeking attention for diabetes and high blood pressure, which is raising concern among the government officials,” he said.
Mwansambo said this during a meeting of experts from Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda under the banner of Collaboration for Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (Cebha) under way in Lilongwe.
He said the government was engaging players from other sectors.
“The researchers do the work but it’s not enough to just do the work; it has to be translated into policy and practice.
“So, it’s important to collaborate as a nation. We have a double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and the global burden is going up; which is also the case in Malawi. If we consider our current mortality and morbidity [statistics], non-communicable diseases account for one in three [cases] so it’s actually a big burden to our health sector,” Mwansambo said.
Tamara Phiri from the University of Malawi, who is also the country’s coordinator for Cebha, conceded that little has been done in research for non-communicable diseases
“We still have a lot of challenges and one of the core aims of Cebha is to find what we have on the ground and where the gaps are and how we can go forward to address these gaps,” Phiri said.
Cebha Africa Coordinator, Harriet Mayanja-Kizza of Makerere University, said the network has been crucial in identifying challenges faced in different countries which give them a clear map of what to do to address such problems.