Rotary Club of Bwaila hikes for rheumatoid disease awareness

The hiking exercise attracted over 50 athletes, including members of Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe and Malawi Defense Force (MDF) from Parachute Battalion.

The Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe on Saturday, September 18, 2021 conducted a 9.7 kilometers hiking session in Senga Seven Hills in Salima district, in a bid to raise awareness about rheumatoid disease.

Speaking after the hiking session which took about six hours and 26 minutes, Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe President, Dr. Richard Dilawo, said that they are on a mission to sensitize the public in the country about rheumatoid disease.

“We want to highlight facts about rheumatoid disease which also some people call it rheumatoid arthritis which is one of the autoimmune diseases and it affects joints among the people of all ages.

“So we want to tell people about the disease so that they should have information on how they can deal with it when they have symptoms,” Dilawo said.

He added that, through the awareness exercise, they want also to lobby the government to put more emphasis on rheumatoid disease especially by recruiting specialists for the disease and also developing facilities for the disease such as, special clinics where people can get tested and receive treatment for the disease.

He further said that the hiking program was also organized to encourage the public to be doing physical exercises in order to prevent various diseases including rheumatoid.

“Through the hiking session we wanted also to encourage people to be doing physical exercises so that they should remain strong and prevent different diseases such as rheumatoid,” he said. 

On his part, Head of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and Mental Health under the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jonathan Chiwanda applauded the Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe for its charity drive.

“In Malawi and other low income countries across the world, rheumatoid disease has been neglected for longtime as compared to other diseases and this has been a big challenge to rheumatoid patients.

“Hence what the Rotary Club of Bwaila is doing is quite a good gesture as it will help to enlighten the government through our ministry to pay more attention to rheumatoid disease in the country,” Chiwanda said.

He also expounded that, the awareness exercise would also assist the public to have more knowledge about the disease and be able to seek early medical help when they are experiencing its symptoms.

The hiking exercise attracted over 50 athletes including members of Rotary Club of Bwaila-Lilongwe and Malawi Defense Force (MDF) from Parachute Battalion.

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