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FIGHT NCDs, COMMUNICABLE DISEASES – RELIGIOUS LEADERS URGED

By ANDREW PHIRI

MINISTRY of Health has raised the bar high in the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases and communicable diseases by engaging religious leaders.

The Ministry shared key messages at the just ended Religious Leaders Health Indaba tagged ‘Health evangelism towards universal health coverage; leaving no one behind’

Assistant Director in charge of NCDs Dr Mutale Nsakashalo said that the Seventh National Development Plan prioritised NCDs due to the increasing burden.

She said although 80% of NCDs were preventable and only 20% genetically inclined, it was regrettable that the population was still struggling to employ preventive measures.

The Ministry of Health has in the recent past heightened wellness activities through creation of platforms like National Health Week and wellness activities in congregate settings in an effort to fight NCDs.

Dr Nsakashalo has since advised the population to do regular checks, adhere to treatment when diagnosed with NCDs and provide supportive care to ill people.

“We want to have a healthy young generation thereby promoting a healthy future” she affirmed

And Assistant Director in charge of Health Promotion Dr Sharon Kapambwe has called on men who are 45 years and above to go for prostate cancer screening.

She said over 1000 men were seen every year at the Cancer Diseases Hospital and many more were unwilling to go for screening hence the need to create awareness.

Dr Kapambwe also said that cervical and breast cancers remained high among women hence the need for religious leaders to encourage their followers to go for screening.

Meanwhile, Environmental and Occupation Health Assistant Director Cheleka Kaziya has called on religious leaders to promote hand hygiene as most communicable diseases could be avoided by the practice.

She stressed that congregate settings were effective in the promotion of environmental health, food safety and a hub of information on how to prevent communicable diseases affecting the population.

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