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MATOBO district records a rise in cases of non-communicable diseases

MATOBO district is recording a gradual increase of non-communicable diseases since 2009 and the District Nursing Officer Remind Sibanda attributes the trend to a shift in diet.

While there has not been an empirical study to ascertain reasons to explain the increase, Sibanda told Radio Dialogue during a Men’s Health Day that since the dollarisation era, there was an influx of imported foods which could be fuelling the trend.

The Organisation for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID was supporting Men’s Health Day in Mabonyeni, Matobo district as a social mobilisation strategy to increase uptake of health services by men and to educate them on the availability and accessibility of HIV treatment for everyone who is HIV positive.

He says the district’s diet was mainly based on small grain but it since changed to imported refined foods.

“Of late we have recorded a rise in the cases non-communicable diseases, said Sibanda.

“Non-communicable disease include hypertension, diabetes medidas and kidney problems and we have come up with services top counter this development.”

Sibanda said they have engaged in various activities to diagnose and treat people from numerous diseases particularly non-communicable diseases in the district.

“We are screening for hypertension and we are also screening prostate cancer for man which is one of the problems that has been prominent among men in the district,”

Sbanda however confirmed that although there is research proven reason that can be attached to this trend they suspect it could be somewhat linked to diet shift.

“Although I don’t have empirical evidence to say this is related to that, from my observation we started recording a rise since the year 2009 and when you look at this it is when our food pattern changed when we started eating imported foodstuffs.

“We stated observing a change but we haven’t carried a research to directly link this to this development,” said Sibanda.

A non-communicable disease (NCD) is a medical condition or disease that is not caused by infectious agents and these include heart diseases, stroke, cancers and diabetes. An estimated 31 percemt of deaths in Zimbabwe in 2014 were a result of non-communicable diseases, World Health Organization statistics show.

OPHID, with support from the US President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) to increase HIV testing and linkages to care and treatment in Matobo district.

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