While visiting Chimaninani Rural Hospital last Friday, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Constantino Chiwenga, spoke on the need to prioritise the treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and expressed his gratitude to good working relations with developmental partners in tackling NCDs.
“The prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, HIV and AIDS, Diabetes, Hypertension and other chronic injuries and diseases, justifies Government’s policy-thrust, which prioritises Public Health. In this purview, my Ministry forged durable ties with several developmental partners and outlaid programmes to mitigate the effects of such Non Communicable Diseases that pose a credible threat to the livelihoods of mankind.
“I want to take this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to all the development partners and Civil Society Organisations who joined hands with the Ministry of Health and Child Care for a noble cause,” said Dr Chiwenga.
VP Chiwenga said medication for most NCDs was very expensive and this could be addressed by resuscitating the local pharmaceutical industry so that the medication becomes affordable at the same stimulating an increase in local drug manufacturing capacity utilisation to a higher level.
“In light of the prohibitive costs of imported medicine to manage some of the conditions militated by Non-Communicable Diseases and other diseases, Government adopted a policy aimed at resuscitating the country’s pharmaceutical industry, which has, for some time now, been operating well-below optimum levels.
“The initiative will result in the stimulation of local manufacturing of medicines and drugs, a scenario that will push down the cost of imported medicines and drugs to treat or manage prevalent infirmities,” said VP Chiwenga.
Recent studies show that NCDs were affecting most people where 35 to m40 percent of Zimbabweans are hypertensive. Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro who is a renowned Diabetologist said about 15 percent of Zimbabweans were diabetic. These figures show that the prevalence of NCDs in the country is on the rise.