Shot in the arm for Zimbabwe Diabetes Association

By Kudakwashe Pembere

A Swiss based pharmaceutical company Novartis has handed over the Zimbabwe Diabetes Association five laptops to assist in the research which will assist the nation in enhancing the condition’s management.

This comes as a boost to people living with diabetes in the country as it will keep them on the loop of what’s happening in Zimbabwe. Further considering the lack of research with the last one carried out in 2005 by Government, the donation will go a long way in updating the national data.

ZDA president John Mangwiro told HealthTimes on the sidelines of the handover ceremony at Harare Central Hospital that this donation has come at the nick of time as it will help in researching about the condition in Zimbabwe.

“The Novartis donation has empowered the diabetic patient. It has empowered the Zimbabwe dioabetes association. Has empowered our hospitals that have received and the nation. And the donation is important in that data gathering and analysis will be done expeditiously and it will be very helpful.

“We can share data nationally, internationally and compare our data with others. And this really will go a long way in educating us and making sure our patients are managed properly. We can look at data, enter information and make sure things are better for the diabetic patient because all this is in conjunction with agreements that we did with Novartis. Im very happy they are honouring their agreements,” he said.

He said the company delivered its promises while they await ZDA personnel to enhance their knowledge about the condition.

“They had promised us tablets, and all that and they gave us. They had promised us computers and they gave us. They promised us they are going to send our health personnel for further training in diabetes,” he said.

In a speech read on his behalf by Novartis Zimbabwe and Zambia head Pias Tomupei Musiza

Novartis South Africa Chief executive Country  president Dr Thomas Kowallik said this donation was in fulfilment of talks held with Government officials in ZDA and Harare Central Hospital Diabetes Unit.

“Novartis associates discovered that the efforts of the ZDA to screen and manage diabetes across Zimbabwe were challenged by the fact that all data had to be captured and collated manually,” he said to facilitate data capturing.

Dr Kowallik added that the company intends to support Zimbabwe in cardiovascular and metabolic disease management and training was informed that the health services had an urgent need for ICT equipment to facilitate data capturing.

HCH clinical director George Vera said ICTs are important as they help in expediting treatment of patients. He also said they have a fruitful relationship with Novartis which has allowed the hospital to sell diabetes tablets at a subsidised cost of just $5 unlike elsewhere where they fetch $28.

The laptops were given to HCH, Chitungiwza Hospital, Mpilo Hospital and ZDA Harare as well as ZDA Bulawayo. ZDA’s database stands at 40 000 diabetes patients which calls the need to have more screening services across the country.

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