GOVERNMENT has reaffirmed its commitment to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with a particular reference to Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a skin condition likely to mutate to cancer and blindness if left untreated.
BY VANESSA GONYE
The condition is a genetic disorder which it decreases the ability to repair DNA damage such as that caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.
Speaking on behalf of Health and Child Care deputy minister, John Mangwiro, at a Press conference to raise awareness on the disease last week, NCDs director in the ministry, Wenceslus Nyamayaro urged hospitals to accommodate cases of the rare condition and if need be, create whole units for its treatment.
“In line with the Health and Child Care ministry restructuring exercise and thrust to provide top-notch heathcare services, I urge hospitals where possible, to chip in and allow XP Zimbabwe to use a selected room for XP registration at their premises.
“I now call upon the corporate world and other related bodies to extend donations in cash or kind to XP Zimbabwe in support of its noble work towards assisting XP patients. Sponsors can also construct or rent a house to accommodate the XP children when they come for treatment to Harare from other provinces,” Nyamayaro said.
Pauline Mapuvire, Founder of Xeroderma Pigmentosum Family Support (XPFS), a non-profit organisation said undiagnosed and untreated XP could lead to early onset of skin cancer and blindness.
She said 20% of XP patients also developed progressive neurological disease, making it a deadly skin disease that needs more urgent attention and swift action.