Changemaker: Lovemore Malama
Country of Implementation: Zambia
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes, are the leading cause of death worldwide and represent an emerging global health threat. While NCD deaths typically occur later in life in high-income countries, in low- and middle-income countries, NCDs often affect working-age people, leading to high healthcare costs, limited ability to work, and financial insecurity. Many people continue with harmful lifestyles further increasing the burden. This can be attributed to ignorance and poor health-seeking behaviour, which means many people only become aware of an NCD when it is in its late stages.
Because of this, a ZERO NCDs PROJECT has been developed, which brings innovative ways of health education and promotion and offers screening services to the communities of Lusaka Province, Zambia with the aim of reaching the whole nation. The two initial communities targeted are Lilanda and Matero compounds. The project will begin with the creation of health clubs in schools, starting with one community of Lusaka Province. The health club members weekly health club meetings, where lessons and updates will be given on NCDs. In order to motivate the health club members, once a year inter-school health quizzes will be held and prizes will be given to the best participants. Health clubs in churches will also be established. Screening services for non-communicable diseases will be offered quarterly such as blood pressure checks, random blood sugar checks for Diabetes, Body mass index (BMI) for Obesity, among others. The same will apply for the creation of health clubs in workplaces. Health clubs will be set up in communities for individuals who can not be reached at schools, churches and workplaces. The organisation also aims to distribute literature in various languages on non-communicable diseases and how to prevent them.