Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe hiked 9.7 kilometres up the Senga Seven Hills in Salima to raise awareness about rheumatoid disease.
Speaking after the hiking session which took about six hours and 26 minutes, Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe President, Dr. Richard Dilawo said that they are in a mission to sensitise the public in the country about rheumatoid disease.
“We want to highlight facts about rheumatoid disease, also called rheumatoid arthritis which is one of the autoimmune diseases and it affects joints among people of all ages.
“We want to inform people about the disease so that they should have information on how they can deal with it when they have symptoms,” he said.
Dilawo added that through the awareness exercise they want to lobby the government to put more emphasis on rheumatoid disease especially by recruiting specialists for the disease and developing facilities for the disease such as, special clinics where people could get tested and receive treatment for the disease.
He said that the hiking programme was organised to encourage the public to be doing physical exercises in order to prevent various diseases including rheumatoid.
“Through the hiking session, we wanted to encourage people to be doing physical exercises so that they should remain strong and prevent different diseases such as rheumatoid,” the President said.
Head of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jonathan Chiwanda applauded the Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe for its charity drive.
“In Malawi and other low income countries across the world, rheumatoid disease has been neglected for long time as compared to other diseases and this has been a big challenge to rheumatoid patients.
“Hence what the Rotary Club of Bwaila is doing is quite a good gesture as it will help to enlighten the government through our ministry to pay more attention to rheumatoid disease in the country,” he said.
Chiwanda pointed out that the awareness exercise would assist the public to have more knowledge about the disease and be able to seek early medical help when they are experiencing its symptoms.
The hiking exercise attracted over 50 athletes including members of Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) from Parachute Battalion.