NHTZ engages health personnel on a diabetes awareness workshop
On the 1st December 2014, National Healthcare Trust Zimbabwe (NHTZ) conducted a diabetes lobby and advocacy workshop at Harare hospital. The aim for conducting the workshop was to raise awareness on diabetes and disseminate information to medical personnel on accessibility, affordability and availability issues surrounding diabetes.
Non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, receive more attention compared to communicable diseases. However communicable diseases like diabetes have no cure and management can be expensive. Therefore it is of paramount importance to increase knowledge of diabetes as information about the disease is scarce and preventative screening is not common in Zimbabwe. This is essential as statistics (name statistics reference) show that 1.3 million people were diabetic in 2005 and 10-14% of the Zimbabwean population are living with diabetes.
Institutions that participated in the workshop were Harare Hospital, Chitungwiza Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa group of hospitals. Medical personnel and specialists were taught how to screen and diagnose diabetes for early detection and avoid blindness that is often linked to the disease. During the workshop Dr Mangwiro mentioned that ‘diabetes can be avoided, it takes commitment to lifestyle change.’
There were 155 people in attendance, that include our dignitaries Chief Executive Officer for Harare central hospital Ms. Zvavamwe, clinical director for Harare Central Hospital Mr. Vera, president of the Zimbabwe diabetic association Dr. Mangwiro, Government chief ophthalmologist Dr. Macheka, trained nurse practitioners, student nurses , members of the community and Mrs. Gandiya, Mrs. Mugugu and Mr. Dube represented Higherlife Foundation.
Furthermore, 2 patients spoke about their experiences living with diabetes. The first patient, diabetic for 10 years, testified about how she managed the disease without complications. The second patient has been living with diabetes for more than 20 years and she spoke of how expensive the treatment is and difficulty in accessing specialist services in the event of complications. There was an occasion when the patient would have been amputated if she did not seek and have access to specialist services. She highlighted that there are many people who are not priviledged to have accessibility that she had.