Rural Malawians urged: Go and get screened for diabetes

Written by  Austin Kakande

Rural Malawians have been urged to embrace the culture of getting screened for Non Communicable Diseases(NCDs) such as Diabetes, which affects two percent of the 17 million Malawians.


Assistant Director of clinical services responsible for NCDS in the Ministry of Health and Population Services, , Hastings Chiumia, said this in Chiradzulu on Wednesday during the commemoration of World Diabetes Day, and World Diabetes awareness month. The day falls on November 14.

Chiumia dispelled the assertions that NCDs such as diabetes were only for the elite.

“Even typical rural settlers are also being hit hard with NCDs such a diabetes. That was why as the ministry we thought it wise to start taking such campaigns to rural areas,” he said.


Chiumia disclosed that the recent diabetes prevalence rate in Malawi showed that two percent of Malawians, which includes those from the rural areas, are also suffering from the disease, adding that that  was why the Ministry of Health has extended the campaigns beyond cities and towns.

 Councillor Bruno Mwase, who is the Council Chairperson for Chiradzulu District, said some of the deaths in rural settings  that are attributed to witchcraft are NCD related and could be avoided if people embraced the culture of regular medical check ups.

“Some of these sudden deaths are not as a result of witchcraft as many people in the rural areas tend to think. And they are avoidable,” said Mwase.

The theme for diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes Day 2019 is 'Family and Diabetes.; The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is raising awareness of the impact that the disease has on the family and support network of those affected, and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organisation (WHO)  in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

The day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries, including Malawi.

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