Health experts call for better life styles in Malawi

Health experts call for better life styles in Malawi

Lilongwe : Malawi | Mar 15, 2013 at 4:35 AM PDT
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Living a well-managed health-care life style, routine medical screening and eating recommended foods can promote a healthy living; experts have assured the Malawi nation.

Programme Manager for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health in the country’s Ministry of Health, Dr Beatrice Mwagomba, has also observed that if people reduce heavy smoking habits, excessive beer drinking and eating fatty food, cases of cancer can be reduced too.

The health expert was speaking during a public session marking the commemoration of World Cancer Day in Malawi, and she furthermore declared that undertaking various physical exercises like taking a stroll, jogging and manual work can help build good health.

“Physical exercises eliminate to a greater extent body fats, hence reducing possibilities of suffering from cancer,” said Dr. Mwagomba.

Oncologist Leo Masamba cautioned the youth, especially girls, against indulging in early sexual activities, an attitude that provides leeway to cancer.

“Girls who indulge themselves in early sexual activities just like the ones who have multiple sexual partners are at a greater risk of suffering cervical cancer,” the Oncologist observed.

Dr Leo Masamba also cautioned Albinos to be wearing long sleeves and a hat to cushion effects of direct sunlight, as sunlight rays affect people who have lighter complexion which poses a risk to skin cancer attack.

Sadly, in Malawi it is a small percentage of women that see sense in going for cancer screening but the Oncologist emphasize that regardless of one’s marital status, women from the age of 30 are supposed to be going for voluntary cancer screening.

A Clician in Blantyre, Malawi observed that there is a lot to do if Malawi’s road to improve the health of its citizens is to leave a mark, saying; “It demands a concerted effort and intensified campaigns.”

He added: “There is need for a political will. This is not just a health issue but rather national requiring interventions of several stakeholders and lead ministries, likeMinistries of Education; Youth & Sports; Nutrition, HIV & AIDS; Gender, Children & Social Welfare; Disability & Elderly Affairs, even those that come under the Presidency.”

Recently Board Chairperson of Drug Fight Malawi and Alcohol Policy Alliance, Maria Chidzanja-Nkhoma noted with regret that although the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) state that health is critical to economic, political and social development, and that the health-related MDGs focus on reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, as portrayed in MDG 4, 5 and 6, respectively, they do not capture the increasing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Nevertheless, the board chairperson observed that the 2011 United Nations High level meeting on NCDs demonstrated a global consensus around the need to develop and implement prevention strategies and control the disease burden related to some risk factors the major ones comprise unhealthy foods and lack of physical exercises, also observing that four disease categories captured in the NCD basket include cancer, and the four account for two-thirds of all deaths and half of all disability worldwide.

Coordinator for Alcohol Policy Alliance Southern Region Chapter Jacqueline Grace Nambala mentioned at the same meeting that health implications caused by unrecorded alcohol include various cancers.

Hudson Kubwalo of World Health Organization-Malawi office seem to agree with the Blantyre Clinician by observing that although Malawi is geared towards achieving public health, the government cannot go it alone as such there is need for community action and participation and further investing in young people.

Chidzanja-Nkhoma, Nambala and Kubwalo were speaking at an orientation meeting with journalists pooled from across Malawi on how best to report on harmful consumption of alcohol and share evidence-based alcohol harm reduction strategies.

A Healthy Living columnist Gandy Madzalo observes that wellness being closely linked with one’s lifestyle; every person has a responsibility to provide for such health tools as good nutrition, proper weight control, exercise, and controlling of risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.

“These things all play a role in wellness, and since lifestyle has been found to be the single most important factor determining your pattern of general health, it is important that you be educated to take charge of your daily lifestyle goals,” writes the columnist in Malawi’s Sunday Times edition of March 3 2013.

Malawi has only one Oncologist and without a cancer center.

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Half of Malawi's 13 million citizens live on less than a dollar a day
Half of Malawi's 13 million citizens live on less than a dollar a day
TAPITAYA is based in Blantyre, Blantyre City, Malawi, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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