There has been an increase in chronic diseases or non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Zambia over the recent years that include Cardiovascular disease, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus (Type II), Cancers, Chronic respiratory diseases, epilepsy among others (Annual bulletin ministry of health Zambia 2012). Non-communicable diseases or chronic disease according to the United Nations (UN) is a disease or medical condition that is non-infectious and non-transmissible (2018). At a global scale NCDs kill 41 million people each year equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. The ages most affected is between 30-69 years and over 85% of these “premature” deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (UN 2018). Furthermore, Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths of 17.9 million people annually followed by cancers at 9.0 million, respiratory disease at 3.9 million and diabetes at 1.6 million.
NCDs tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic,physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. Among the risk factors include tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, family history and unhealthy
diets. Detection, screening and treatment of NDCs as well as palliative care are key components of the response to NCDs. In Zambia hypertension is on top of the list as the most reason of visitation to health facilities (MOH 2012).
Statics according to the united nations shows that there is over 70% lack of community awareness on NDCs in Zambia causing a further burden of premature death. This gap of lack of awareness is where ROMAKAKI Trust interest lies. ROMAKAKI Trust is a charity run by members of Chilonga schools of nursing alumni. The trust was founded in 2017 after the newly built school burnt down in October 2016 due to an electrical fault. This brought the spirit of unity among the ex-Chilonga Schools of Nursing students and have since continued positively contributing towards rebuilding of the school. There has been also tremendous
support from the government and public. The Trust has organised fundraising ventures that included the walk from Northmead to East park mall in 2017 and fundraising dinner gala in October 2017 that was graced by Honourable Jean Kapata venued at intercontinental hotel of Lusaka.
The Trust has the main goal of contributing positively in any way possible in order to realise a healthy Zambia. This year our mission is to educate the public on NDCs as the above figures are so alarming. This mission has just kicked off with a health check set up at Levy mall on the 21st of June 2019. The turnout among shoppers was overwhelming that included our Honourable minister to the Vice president Ms Sylvia Chalikosa. The health check is conducted by qualified nurses of Chilonga Schools of Nursing alumni giving back to the community as volunteers having the passion to foster healthy lives in Zambia. Our next
health check point will be at mandahill next month date to be communicated. We are also having a fundraising dinner gala in November this year date and venue to be communicated. We encourage members of the public to take advantage of the health
checks as they transform their lives through healthy lifestyle and choices. A healthy Zambia begins with you and me.
By Debbie Kalinda
CEO of ROMAKAKI Trust