Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Over 300 people attending this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show have so far undergone an assessment of their health risk to a range of non-communicable diseases.
Offered by Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) as part of its national plan to assess at least 500 000 of their members by year end, the initiative is meant to encourage health seeking behaviour among Zimbabweans, amid continued increase of non-communicable diseases in the country.
Speaking from the PSMAS stand where scores were undergoing assessment of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and monitoring of heart rate, PSMAS public relations, communications and brand manager Mr Arthur Choga said this initiative, which was launched during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) was meant to mitigate the impact of non-communicable diseases.
“We want to have a complete risk profile of all our members so that we also design our wellness programmes accordingly,” said Mr Choga.
He said to date, about 80 000 PSMAS members have so far been assessed.
“Non-communicable diseases remain the major cause of death in the country, stifle productivity and equally consume the bulk of the national health budget in treatment and care yet they are preventable and curable. A majority of them can be controlled through lifestyle change and this is what we are aiming to address,” said Mr Choga.
A 2017 Ministry of Health and Child Care report indicates a rise in cases of conditions like hypertension, diabetes and mental health in Zimbabwe with a total 1 028 810 hypertension, 120 609 diabetes and 154 745 mental illness patients registered and regularly receiving health care services.