Malawi gets UN award for NCDs

Jappe Mhango receives UN award

The United Nations has awarded Malawi for the outstanding work and contribution the country is making in achieving the Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) related Sustainable Development Goals.

The country dreceive the United Nations Interagency Task Force for the Prevention and Control of NonCommunicable Diseases Award on Monday through the Ministry of Health and Population.

According to Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Malawi’s Chief of Health Services Malawi is getting the award because of several strategies the country put place in the fight against NCDs.

"These include establishment of NCDs unit in 2011 with the aim to coordinate the national response to NCDs and enhanced community mobilization on NCDs and educating patients in health facilities and communities and strengthening capacity of healthcare providers in managing patients with NCDs and monitoring and evaluation of NCDs in health facilities.

“We also introduced Human Papiloma Virus Vaccine (HPV) targeting nine year old girls  and we also launched the NCDs Lancet Commission two years ago  with the aim to rethink about global policies and mend a great disparity in health and broaden the current NCD agenda in the interest of equity,” said Dr Mwansambo.

An NCD is a disease not transmitted directly from one person to another. NCDs include most heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, epilepsy, mental health disorders and injuries including violence accelerated trauma.

Most NCDs are caused as a direct result of lifestyle and environmental factors.

Mwansambo said in the 1960s and 1970s, NCDs were not an important public health problem as prevalence was at one percent.

“Now NCDs and their risk factors constitute a public health risk and these diseases contribute more than 30 percent of disease burden and are ranked fouryh as a cause of disability adjusted life years,” Mwansambo said.

Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango, who is attending the UNGA, said: “NCDs are a global problem. As a country, we are happy to receive this award. This is a motivator to us to do more.

"This is a call for us to redouble our efforts. We thank President Professor Peter Mutharika for supporting my ministry to achieve this award.”

Malawi is among the rest of the world's countries attending this year’s UNGA in New York under the theme: “Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion.”