3 July 2012

Zambia: Nation Not Spared From Lung Cancer Deaths

The country will not be spared from the 11.9 million deaths that will be caused by lung diseases globally, Deputy Minister of Health Patrick Chikusu has said.

Speaking in Lusaka on Wednesday during the World Spirometry Day under the theme "Lung Health and Exercise", Dr Chikusu called for concerted efforts among government, donors and non-governmental organisations in raising awareness on lung diseases.

The minister emphasised the need for Zambians to undergo Spirometry (lung diseases) tests, as a measure aimed at curbing the increasing numbers of lung related deaths and morbidity.

"The importance of health is such that it is enshrined in the National Health Strategic Plan because we believe that good health is a prerequisite to development," he said.

He said the urgency for the Government to begin addressing both non-communicable diseases as effectively and communicable diseases alike was now paramount.

Executive director of the Zambia Asthma Association (ZAA) Dean Nsabiash called on the Government to work with his association in fighting lung diseases such as asthma.

He said despite the connection between health and life being fundamental, evidence showed that lung health was not viewed as priority among both individuals and the public health policy.

"Every Zambian should learn that Spirometry tests highlight how critical awareness, proper testing and early action are, in ensuring an effectiveand healthy public, if introduced across the country," he said.

And acting matron at Kanyama Clinic Lillian Banda outlined the problems being faced at the clinic such as power outages, blocked sewer systems and lack of bio-chemistry machinery to carry out chemical tests.

Dr Chikusu who also under-took a tour of Kanyama Clinic, said the scrapping of medical user fees had seen a rise in the number of patients being attended to by the clinic.

"My ministry has taken bold steps to tackle diseases that are non communicable, we are setting up funds to ensure that drugs are available, however the lifestyle of people must also change thus it is important to ensure that our people are tested before diseases advance," Dr Chikusu said.

The World Spirometry Day is held to raise awareness and carry out lung disease tests using a Spirotemy test.

Copyright © 2012 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.