The Ministry of Health has placed prevention, care, and control of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among its priorities by including them in the essential health package under the Health Sector Strategic Plan 2011-2016.
Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) director Dr Andrew Gonani made the remarks at Kamuzu Upper Stadium ground in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, on Monday during events to mark World Diabetes Day commemoration, which started with a big walk from Blantyre Old Town Hall.
â€œA unit responsible for coordination of all prevention, treatment and control activities for diabetes and other non-communicable diseases has since been established and a national action plan has been developed.
â€œIn this regard, the emergency tender for drugs that the Central Medical Stores is currently processing also includes essential drugs for diabetes and other NCDs,â€ said Gonani.
Diabetes Association of Malawi president Pastor Timothy Ntambalika said the day was significant as there is need for Malawians to know about diabetes, its causes, implications as well as prevention measures.
Ntambalika said according to statistics released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2009, six percent of Malawians are diabetic. He asked those who are diabetic to join the association.
Stuart Winga, one of the diabetics who had his leg amputated, said people should not be afraid of diabetes so long as they live a healthy life because he was diagnosed in 1997 and has since lived a very good life.
The commemoration was spiced up with dances by Judges Dance Troupe, testimonies and recognition of diabetic control champions.