By Analife Nguluwe -Lilongwe 18/1/2020
A group of Civil Society Organization in Malawi have move to form an afformidable force putting up a good fight against non communicable diseases in the country. The network of organizations under the banner of Malawi Non Commicable Disease (NCD) Alliance say are commited to contribute towards fititing non communicable disease at level cost.
The membership of the Malawi NCD Alliance include: Women’s Coalition against Cancer (WOCACA), Cancer Survivors Quest, Diabetic Association of Malawi, JIYAVANNE Diabetic Foundation, Hope for Cancer and Stroke Asscoation of Malawi. The membership is drawn from Cancer, Diabetes, Stroke, Epilepsy, Kidney, Mental, Dental, Obesity, Nutrition and many other non-communicable diseases.
“The main goal of the Malawi NCDs Alliance is to create an inclusive platform that allows a unified approach through mobilisation and collaboration with various stakeholders” said Maud Mwakasungula, the Vice Chairperon of the group.
She said the group has many stakeholders including Government, Civil Society Organisations, Non-Govermental Organisations, development partners and the the youth in order to create a board network that fights and addreses non communicable diseases.
Mwaksasungula said “the Alliance specifically seeks to offering support and credible information for patients suffering from Non Communicable Diseases, their families, caregivers and the general public.”
She went on further that the Alliance aims at impacting on Malawians a value of a balanced lifestyle by inspiring them to make healthy choices for themselves, eating more nutritious foods and getting more exercises.
Accorning to Mwakasungula one other critical function of the Alliance is “advocating, facilitating and lobbying for effective policy and practices affecting patients suffering from Non Communicable Diseases.”
For a year the Alliance, strategically, through coordinated efforts, has been raisning awareness in public health building, sharing information enganging in policy reforms and capacity building for NCDs Alliance member organizations.
The Malawi NCD Alliance which has a very good working relationship with the government through the Ministry of Health, boosts praises of government commitment towards addressing NCDs according to Mwakasungula.
However all is not rosey in the fight against non communicable diseases in Malawi. The Alliance, bemoans of poor infrastructure for chronic care clinics and lack of comprehensive national public health promotion awareness on NCDs among others.
One other key challenge is little donor interests in supporting Civil Society on NCDs issues according to the Coordinator Chikhulupiro Ng’ombe.
Chiukulupirio futher said, “COVID-19 pandemic has affected operations of NCDs efforts including People Living with Non Communicable Dieases.”
The NCD Alliance housed by Women’s Coalition Against Cancer (WOCACA) as its secretariat in the year 2020 build the capacity of its members and structure that support the NCDs through a three year grant project which first year ended December 2020 with funding from Global NCDs Alliance. The project also aimed at providing support towards people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) during the COVID-19 which was for one year ending in December, 2020.