Hundreds screened for diabetes in Penhalonga

By Kenias Chivuzhe

The Mutasa rural community in Manicaland province had a rare opportunity to be screened for diabetes free of charge, courtesy of a partnership between the Zimbabwe Diabetes Association and the local political leadership.

The outreach programme, organised by aspiring legislator for Mutasa South, Advocate Misheck Mugadza, benefitted hundreds of people who thronged Tsvingwe Clinic to get screened.

A diabetes patient said: “I am diabetic. I was attacked by diabetes and survived with the condition for a long time, but I did not know that I was diabetic. I failed to walk for about four months resulting in doctors diagnosing me of diabetes. I am now walking again after being given medical care.”

Said another: “Last year but one I was attacked by diabetes that affected my leg. At times I collapse and I am in and out of the hospital. I am now managing my deity. We are appreciative of the counselling services provided here.”

“The high levels of diabetes in the area require patients to follow appropriate diets. Some people are attacked by diabetes unknowingly hence the importance of these awareness and screening campaigns,” noted another beneficiary of the free screening services.

The disease has become a major source of worry with cases having doubled in the last seven years.

“There are a lot of people who did not know that they are diabetic and we have attended to them. We had time to conducting counselling for those with diabetes,” provincial coordinator of the Zimbabwe Diabetic Association, Overseer Elizabeth Matsenga noted.

Bishop Jeremiah Matenhese, a board member of the Zimbabwe Diabetic Association, said diabetes has become of national concern.

“Prevalence is now too high and as Zimbabwe diabetes association we are saying we need to taking the awareness and screening campaigns seriously across the country. Diabetes can be prevented and controlled if people are informed and educated on its causes and preventive measures. It is a fact that the major cause of the condition is food. The population is exposed to junk food hence this alarming prevalence of diabetes.”

Advocate Mugadza highlighted the importance of medical outreach programmes in promoting the second republic’s thrust of access to health for all.

“Diabetes is widespread in the constituency and we are glad that the diabetes association is assisting our people in Mutasa South. We have been doing a number of medical outreach missions but this time we have chosen diabetes due to its high prevalence levels. This is aimed at providing health for all. We are happy that the vision by President Mnangagwa for health for all is getting support from volunteers like this association,” he said.

The prevalence of diabetes has gone up to 10 percent up from five percent in 2015.