By Sibongile Maruta
The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) hosted a free health expo in Harare last week, which provided health service providers and funders with an opportunity to exhibit their products and services.
ZiMA senior administrator Ms Sharon Rusare said the health expo — running under the theme “Decoding non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) for a new Zimbabwe” — was meant to enable members of the public to engage face-to-face with experts from different health institutions.
The expo was also held after the realisation that NCDs were on the rise.
“We have realised that in Zimbabwe NCD’s such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, among others, are on the rise, and these are lifestyle-based diseases caused by the way we live and what we eat most of the time,” said Ms Rusare.
“We want to educate the public that there is need to lead a healthy life, exercising, eating right and taking the right medicines. The event gives an opportunity to anyone involved in providing health services, from individuals to companies, to exhibit their products and services.”
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) health service representative Major Anderson Chaya said the expo provided them with an opportunity to educate individuals on health issues and provide blood pressure check-ups.
“We have come to franchise our brand and our mission is to provide comprehensive and quality assured preventive, promotive, diagnostic, curative, rehabilitative health services, including dental care, to all ZDF serving members, their dependants and retirees during active service and peacetime, as well as providing assistance to civil ministries and communities when need arises,” he said.
Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) spokesperson Mr Shingirirai Gwatidzo said there was need to educate the public on the importance of buying medicines from licensed institutions such as pharmacies.
“The MCAZ is here to protect the public health by making sure that all accessible medicines and medical devices are safe, effective and are of good quality,” he said.
“The message we have for the public is to stop buying products from the streets and we urge the public to access medicines from licensed premises; that is, our pharmacies that are licensed to sell medicines.”
The National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) safety, health, environment and quality officer Mr Andrew Masiiwa said they had the opportunity to test individuals for their blood types.
Health service providers and funders, who were at the expo included the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Health Service, National Blood Services of Zimbabwe, Cancer Association of Zimbabwe, Eye Institute, Counselling Service Unit, Cimas Medical Aid, Premier Service Medical Aid Society and Medical Control Authority of Zimbabwe.