By Staff Reporter
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) with financial assistance from the Danish government and Novo Nordisk, Thursday handed over medical supplies worth US$61 000 to the health ministry.
The supplies will provide critical care services which include screening, monitoring and treatment of diabetes, hypertension and asthma at rural health facilities.
The donation will support the health ministry to strengthen the screening, treatment of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with focus on rural health facilities.
Wedza in Mashonaland East and Ngezi-Matobo in Matabeleland South, are the two pilot districts set to immediately benefit from this consignment.
The donated supplies consisted of insulin, glucagon, diabetes, asthma and hypertension drugs, BP machines, glucometers, glucometer strips, adult scales, height boards, stethoscopes and digital thermometers.
“The medical supplies we received from WHO will go a long way in strengthening the implementation of our nurse-led NCD programme in Zimbabwe,” said Justice Mudavanhu, the NCDs deputy director in the health ministry.
“The latter, will increase early diagnoses and management of cardiovascular diseases, reduce cardiovascular complications, reduce premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases and reduce financial burden on people with cardiovascular diseases,” he added.
In addition, WHO has supported the health train at least 30 primary health care workers who will cascade the knowledge down to their peers to improve detection, timely treatment and management of patients with NCDs.
The use of low-cost interventions will help in informing policy changes that promote effective use of available resources with better health outcomes.
However, Zimbabwe still faces the double burden of both communicable (HIV, TB, malaria) and NCDs (cancer, diabetes, strokes). Furthermore, there has been a demographic epidemiological transition in the country that has seen more people dying from cardiovascular diseases compared to HIV and TB.
NCDs contribute about 33 percent of all deaths with cardiovascular disease and diabetes contributing about 14 percent while hypertension being identified as a risk factor to cardiovascular diseases.
“I applaud MoHCC (health ministry) and Government of Zimbabwe for all the efforts it continues to be put in place to ensure the development of health systems that ensures that all citizens have access to equitable access to health services of sufficient quality, leaving no one behind,” said Alex Gasasira, WHO country representative.
“In the spirit of sustainable development goals and the attainment of universal health coverage, we are handing over this consignment for use at the primary health care level in line with that spirit.”