By Ransom Mandhlazi
HEALTH and Child Care deputy minister and Chikomba West Member of Parliament Dr John Mangwiro, in partnership with Light of Dawn Foundation launched a diabetes outreach awareness campaign, a move expected to offer free medical consultation and treatment to the Chikomba community and the whole country.
Addressing the gathering at Madamombe Clinic in Chivhu, Dr Mangwiro, highlighted that health was crucial for economic development, hence the move to ensure the rural community is not let out of access to health facilities.
He emphasised that this year’s Diabetes awareness campaigns are widening and covering almost all parts of the country, through free screening and testing of diabetes.
“Diabetes is a disease that is spreading fast. We need to make sure that we come to every place and make sure people know about the disease. The disease is a menace and a growing pandemic. It is very up as a killer disease in the world,” said Dr Mangwiro.
He added that the disease is strongly associated with other diseases like cancer, arthritis, problems with fertility and also causes gestational diabetes which leads to having kids who are deformed.
Dr Mangwiro highlighted that emphasis was that they are trying to make people know that diabetes is a killer disease that can be identified easily and urged people diagnosed with it to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Florence Mafika, a Chivhu resident said she was happy with Dr Mangwiro’s engagement with the people. This outreach made it possible for them to see doctors, get screened for diabetes and other diseases which run parallel with it.
“We are happy today that Dr Mangwiro visited us in Chivhu. I have learnt a lot from this awareness campaign. I’m a diabetic and was diagnosed with the disease in 2000. Since 2000 I had no one who had taught me about the diabetics’ diet and this outreach was of great importance to me," said Mafika.
“Sometimes I feel a lot of heat all over my body, excessive urine and I have a side pain in which sometimes I struggle to walk or stretch my hand. We appeal to the government for free medication because we cannot afford the medication. I have two courses which I take. It’s really straining because I cannot afford.
“Now we know the special diet we are supposed to take. I will try my best to maintain it and spread the gospel to others and advise them to go and get screened for diabetes while it is still early to avoid complications.”
A general survey during the awareness campaigns showed that there is limited knowledge or awareness on people about diabetes as many people turn up for the free testing, screening and teaching. However, men are rarely seen at such kinds of gatherings.
The launch took place at Madamombe Clinic and was graced by, government officials, local leadership, and traditional leadership, among others.