The department of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and mental health in the ministry of health says its initiative of building capacity and raising awareness on hypertension and diabetes diseases, in the northern and central regions has been a success.
Head of the department of NCDs, Dr Jones Kaponda Masiye, said there has been an increase in number of people who are visiting health facilities for screening since the campaign began.
Dr. Masiye said: “There has been a very positive response from people unlike in the past and this is so encouraging because these are the fruits of our campaigns.”
He further revealed that plans are already in place to roll out the campaign in the southern region to ensure the whole country is covered.
The ministry has also been capitalizing on international days on non-communicable diseases and radio programs to raise awareness on the diseases.
The World Diabetes Foundation is supporting the exercise with money to the tune of $1.2 million.
Community Against Diabetes and Hypertension (CADH), in its 2018 annual general meeting revealed that diabetes and hypertension are behind over 60% of deaths of people aged 30 to 60 years of age in Malawi (most without realizing they are suffering from either of the two).
In 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) Stepwise (STEPS) survey (14) revealed that NCDs have become a public health problem in Malawi and needed to be addressed.