Friday, April 03, 2009

Thandiwe calls for equal attention to health issues

Thandiwe calls for equal attention to health issues
Written by Patson Chilemba
Friday, April 03, 2009 6:57:17 PM

FIRST lady Thandiwe Banda on Wednesday stressed the need to devise a system that will look at all health issues equally. During a donation to the Epilepsy Association of Zambia by Divson Pharmaceuticals at State House, Thandiwe, who is patron of the association, said in the past there had been little attention to common neurological disorders such as epilepsy and other non-communicable diseases, concentrating instead on the major communicable diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS among others.

She said this situation had put other physical health challenges and conditions at a disadvantage.

"We must devise a system that will look at all health issues equally. One way of doing this is by ensuring that we support initiatives of care groups which are trying to address neglected conditions such as epilepsy," Thandiwe said.

She said it was sad that most people with epilepsy failed to freely interact with other members of society because of the beliefs that people held about the condition.

Thandiwe said this stigma and discrimination against such people had led them to live lonely lives.

She thanked Divson Pharmaceuticals for the donation of pens and writing pads to be used by the delegates during the Epilepsy and Stigma Conference which is expected to run from April 13 to 17, 2009 at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.

Thandiwe said the association had many challenges and only depended on support from well-wishers.

And association president Dr Anthony Zimba said the estimated budget for the conference was above K900 million.

"So far we have not even reached a quarter of it," he said.

Dr Zimba said epilepsy was not a mental illness but a neurological disorder.

Divson Pharmaceuticals chief executive officer Gajender Arora made the donation on behalf of his organisation. The company also donated conference bags.



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