By Kudakwashe Pembere
The newly launched Diabetics Association of Zimbabwe has bemoaned the absence of updated official research on the condition with the last one done a dozen of years ago. The last research done by the Ministry of Health and Childcare was carried out in 2005.
With other medical conditions like HIV/AIDS being timeously, constantly and consistently being looked into, Diebetes which is the ninth most killing condition has become a ‘Forgotten Condition’ in the country, according to DAZ president Mrs Tendai Gutu.
Mrs Gutu said during the launch of the association for diabetics that due to lack of research, the association is finding it hard to attract funding.
“The other challenge is that there is hardly any research that has been conducted. The last research we know of, I don’t know if there are any other researches, was done in 2005. And for us to ask for any assistance, to ask for any donor to chip in, I think they need to know the prevalence of diabetes, they need to know the number of people who are affected. How are they affected. And all that information is not easily available because there is no research that has been carried out in a long time,” she said.
She also said as a association they will be carrying researches which are accurate while at the same time doling out information on how to manage diabetes.
Mrs Gutu also said on their to-do list is calling on government to consider other medical conditions in its levies used to fund the fight of various medical conditions.
There is the AIDS levy which rakes in millions of dollars every year thus making the treatment of HIV/AIDS affordable while leaving other non-communicable diseases very expensive beyond the reach of many.
After much considerations, it was reported that the AIDS levy can be used to fund cancer treatment.
Due to the high cost of diabetes treatment beyond the reach of many, DAZ urges government to look into other medical conditions.
“We are also lobbying government to adopt a holistic approach when dealing with various medical conditions. Instead of having a levy that benefits only one condition, the AIDS levy for example, the medical levy should be equitably distributed to benefit all the other conditions,” said Mrs Gutu.
The association is also carrying out wellness programs with its corporate partners.
Joining the association will be on a subscription basis with the sign up fees yet to be released even though DAZ president promised they will be reasonably low.
Since November is the diabetes month, Mrs Gutu said their association will join the rest of the world in commemorating World Diabetes Day on November 14.
There were testimonials from Diabetics who said lack of information on how to tackle the condition is a huge challenge. Another female diabetic said gender stereotypes need to be stopped.