Chikwawa District Hospital together with Partners in Health on Thursday commemorated the World Diabetes Day with a call for people in the district to go for diabetes screening.
The event took place at Chikwawa Community ground in Traditional Authority Kasisi.
In an interview with Malawi24, the District Chairperson for Diabetes Association in Chikwawa Mary Gomani disclosed that over 200 people are suffering from diabetes in the district.
She, however, added that this is not the only number because some people suffering from the disease are not aware since they have not yet gone to the hospital for screening.
“It is very disheartening to learn that most of the people here do not go to the hospital for screening and instead they come when the disease has already affected them and the number is increasing rapidly which is very worrisome,” said Gomani.
She also lamented that patients in the district are not getting adequate help because of lack of resources.
On her part, Partners in Health Program Manager Assana Magombo said the organisation has embarked on a four year program aimed at dealing with non-communicable diseases and diabetes is one of the diseases.
Currently, the organization is reaching out to different communities in the districts and the commemoration was one way of bringing awareness to the masses on non-communicable diseases especially diabetes.
Magombo stressed that their main challenge is poor response from the people considering the fact that many people are not going to the hospital for screening.
However, she was optimistic that with time people will be going to the hospital for screening. She also highlighted that as a way of addressing the issue of long distance they are in the quest of introducing a mobile clinic to be going in different communities and administer the service.
In his remarks, Councilor Wyson Bushi who is also a chairman of health and environment service committee hailed Partners in Health for sponsoring the event because the gesture is one of the best ways of sensitising people on the issue of diabetes and perhaps, encouraging them to go for screening.
“We know that due to this event people will be able to know where to get help and how they can know their status on diabetes and with this message people will be able to get help. I am encouraging the youth to go for screening and take part in raising awareness of the issue of diabetes. I must say that it is not only the elderly people who suffer from this disease but even the youths do,” said Bushi.