STIs And NCDs On The Rise In Chobe

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Chobe District has recorded a significant increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during the first quarter of 2024.

From the beginning of January to March 2024, Chobe District Health Management Team (DHMT) recorded a total of 884 cases of STIs while 117 cases of NCDs (hypertension and diabetes) have been recorded this year same period.

According to Chobe DHMT Head of Preventive Service Dr Clement Mukadi among the cases of STIs recorded Vaginal discharge Syndrome (VDS) constitutes to 319 cases. Mukadi said some VDS cannot be classified as sexually transmitted infections but can be physiological or due to poor hygiene. Mukadi said that considering the cases of STIs recorded in 2023 same period with those that have been recorded this year, there has been an increase of 12%.

Mukadi further stated that STIs are a concern in the district because people affected are more likely to get HIV and this may hinder control. He said that some of the risk factors of STIs include behaviour patterns, substance abuse, improper or inconsistent use of condoms during sex, multiple sex partners and anonymous sex partners, GBV, ignorance and cross border activities

He noted the DHMT together with other stakeholders in the district do organise public education activities throughout, focussing on behaviour change, promoting use of condom and responsible sex.

Regarding the NCDs, Mukadi revealed that from January to March 2024 they have registered 106 new hypertension patients and 11 new diabetes patients. Mukadi said that there is a sharp increase of the two NCDs recorded this year because in 2023 same period they registered 21 new hypertension patients and two new diabetes patients.

This, he said is a concern as the NCDs – commonly known as silent killers, have become a concern in Chobe, as the leading cause of mortality among adults.  According to him, most NCDs are essentials and do not have clear causes, however there are major risk factors that include substance misuses, tobacco use, harmful alcohol, life style (physical inactivity and unhealthy diets, family history(genetics) and air pollution.

Mukadi said that in their efforts to prevent NCDs they host wellness activities in different platforms in the district, screening for early detection and early treatment to avoid complications and mortality and they also do health talks on the management of risk factors.

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