By Duncan Mlanjira
Lions Club of Salima carried out a diabetics screen testing exercise on Saturday on over 60 pregnant women at Salima District Hospital that identified several who were not aware they had high sugar levels that needed attention.
They were also checked their weight and blood pressure and those found with problems were immediately referred to clinicians for further management.
“These women are not routinely screened during pregnancy due to resource constraints,” Lion Esmie Chamdimba.
“High blood sugars in pregnancy is dangerous both to the mother and the unborn child.
“There were also several others who were on the borderline and they were advised how to maintain health lifestyle.”
She said their main target was pregnant women as well as their guardians and that all 60 plus women were in their third tremester.
“After screening the pregnant women we tested further 53, mainly guardians and two of them were also found to have high blood sugar levels and were referred to clinicians for further management.
“We want to continue with this exercise to prevent and control this global epidemic and assist those affected by the disease.”
She said they intend to carry on with such exercise when resources are available and asks wellwishers to join in the campaign in order to encourage pregnant women to seriously attend antenatal care help.
Meanwhile, Lions Club of Capital City says there is need for more stakeholders to join hands in the fight against diabetes after also conducting a sight testing and diabetes screening awareness exercise that was held at Malikha Primary School in partnership with Canadian Vision Care.
Speaking with Malawi News Agency (MANA), the Lions’ president Pierre Mbisa said recently there has been an alarming rate of people with diabetes, hence the need for people to be aware of the disease.
He said they decided to do the exercise at Malikha community because it is one of the remote areas where people do not have access to information on diabetes and other diseases or hardly go to hospitals for screening.
“If more stakeholders can come in, the fight will be easy because even people in rural areas will have information on the disease and if screening like this one can frequently be done diagnosis will be done early as well as treatment,” he said.
Malikha Village Headman Rodgers Julius said screening exercises are very essential more especially in rural areas.
He said diabetes and sight problems has affected his area as such coming in of stakeholders like the Lions will help to sensitize the problems of signs and symptoms of diabetes and eyesight.
“We used to have doctors from Nkhoma Mission Hospital for sight testing but it takes months for them to come, so the coming in of LCCC will assist the community a lot,” he said.
The Malawi Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries Poverty Commission report released in 2018 indicated that diabetes accounts for 2.4 percent of NCDs daily burden.
The report indicated that the prevalence of diabetes is 1.9 of the total population and contributes to 1.3 percent of all deaths in the country.—additional reporting by Ireen Kayira, MANA