By Maria Mandowa

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Community Against Diabetes and Hypertension (CADH) in its annual general meeting on Saturday September 8, emphasized the need for Malawi Government to take much initiative in the fight against non-communicable diseases to be specific diabetes and hypertension.

This is due to the fact that diabetes and hypertension are behind over 60% of deaths of people aged 30 to 60 years of age (most without realizing they are suffering from either of the two).

In the opening remarks, the founder of CADH, Nurse Kadzakumanja highlighted the lack of knowledge amongst citizens as the number one factor contributing to more cases of the two occurring.

This is due to the lack of information available for the common man on how one may prevent oneself from developing these diseases.

She further bemoaned the lack of interest by Malawi government on the management of the two non- communicable diseases against other no-communicable diseases.  She cited the lack of participation by Ministry Officials in planned activities for diabetic and hypertension groups.

“Imagine we invited numerous government officials from ministry of health to our general meeting but only one has showed up. This was meant to be an opportunity for members of CADH to discuss with the relevant authorities on the problems we are facing due to these two diseases.

“Those that can explain to us how our problems will be solved are not here. We are grateful that other guests we invited are here and will help us to pass on the information to the right authorities” lamented nurse Kadzakumanja.

Echoing the same message on the lack of seriousness by the Malawi Government on the issues faced by persons with diabetes and hypertension was the Guest of Honour, Executive Director of Malawi Health Equity Network George Jobe, described the lack of interest by the Government as a big blow to the nation as the two diseases affect majority of the nation from both low and high income communities.

He pointed out that the general meeting should have been graced by the government officials as it would have been a chance for them to see what CADH is doing and also understand the challenges being faced by its citizens .He further highlighted that his organization has been discussing with the Government on the shortage of medication.

“Many of us are witness on the numerous calls made by Malawi Health Equity Network over the lack of hypertension drugs in the country. It is unfortunate that those in power who were meant to hear our pleas have shun the event. This was the time for them to explain to us why hypertension and diabetes medication are scarce.”

CADH held its annual general meeting at his headquarters in area 23.  The organization has so far reached 1088 members in various communities.

It has 30 support groups across Lilongwe which are functional. CADH acts as a link between its members and Kamuzu Central Hospital.