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Monday, May 27, 2024
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ZimLAC tackles health challenges

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

THE Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Programme (ZimLAC) is taking a deeper dive into the well-being of urban communities, expanding its scope to include non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, alongside communicable diseases like cholera.

This year’s Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Programme prioritises vulnerable populations, aiming to inform targeted interventions by the government.

The programme’s expanded scope comes against the backdrop of a recent cholera outbreak, particularly in high-density suburbs like Kuwadzana in Harare, where lives have been lost.

Nutritionist, Ms Mavis Dembedza said “So for this year, we are looking at assessing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) as well as communicable diseases like cholera and today we are in Kuwadzana which is one of the hotspots for cholera. It is also important that as much as we are looking at the livelihoods of the general population, we do not leave the most vulnerable and these are people who are living with NCDs including HIV and AIDS, so we also inform programmes that are targeting those groups.

“Since we are in the midst of a cholera outbreak, we also ask for their knowledge about cholera their practices and perceptions, if they are at risk of getting cholera. So, this will also give us an outlook of how things and the knowledge perceptions of the general public in terms of cholera are.”

For Kuwadzana residents, access to clean water and sanitation remains a major cause for concern.

“There is too much dirty here, the bins are not collected and we have flies everywhere, we are calling on relevant authorities to take action before we all die of cholera,’ said a resident.

Another said, “We need clean water here. As long as there is no clean running water then cholera will always be with us.”

“The enumerators asked us how we are living in this area and we told them our problems, especially on the issue of clean water. We need water,” said a resident.

The assessment also delves into food consumption patterns and the nutritional value of consumed food, recognising the link between diet and disease outbreaks.

The findings of the ZimLAC programme, which will be released next month, are expected to inform policy decisions and interventions aimed at addressing the complex interplay between livelihoods and health in urban Zimbabwe.

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