Residents of Tshikinyega ward in Mahalapye were recently advised to reduce their alcohol intake as it has proven to be dangerous to their health.
“Excessive alcohol drinking and drugs makes one an easy target of most of the present diseases so I would like to encourage my people to reduce the consumption of alcohol, mostly locally brewed beer like Setopoti and Mokoko,”commented one adviser
Mahalapye residents of Tshikinyega ward were found to be heavily uninformed of diseases affecting their community, such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
The irony being that most cases of Hypertension were caused by excessive alcohol drinking which some people in the ward were guilty of.
On a rescue mission to sensitize the residents of such low profile diseases, final year students from Lobatse Institute of health sciences visited the area and carried out a series of tests on the willing residents.
The public health awareness campaign was mostly focused on different disease areas such as alcohol and drug abuse, Tuberculosis, diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, and of course Hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
Most awareness campaigns carried out in Botswana are aimed at sensitizing the nation about the number one killer disease which is HIV/AIDS, the students decided to take a different approach.
The students who had recently finished carrying out a massive research program took the initiative to make the awareness campaign a practical project that would be beneficial to the community.
The campaign which attracted quite a number of interested people proved futile for the student s exercise, under supervision from an Edward Mosala, the day was spent screening and educating the residents on the different cases of diseases that affected their community and how to best overcome these challenges.
“We would like to continue with these community education campaigns because these are not the only diseases and I personally feel that the people enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere because they were all eager to know”, said a certain Mosetsanagape Segokgong.
According to one of the student practitioners, Gorata maphanyane, the above diseases were chosen from a study they conducted during their months of practicals at the mahalapye clinic, she claims the named diseases were the most frequent cases of diseases they were presented with form the resident patients.
The diseases were mostly found amongst the older generation because they bothered to come to the clinic, but she points out that some of the diseases are hereditary so the youth could be at risk if they didn’t take regular check-ups.