#Opinion: Malawi must Merge Information of COVID-19 and Chronic Diseases

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COVID-19 is a deadly disease BUT the world in which Malawi is part of must not forget chronic diseases such as AIDS, Asthma, Cancer and Diabetes are also claiming lives. Malawi Government must find ways of merging information of COVID-19 and the chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both according to Centre for the Diseases Control (CDC)

People can follow all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to avoid COVID-19 while failing to understand the genesis of Asthma, Cancer and Diabetes. For instance, World Health Organization (WHO) says Asthma is a major non-communicable disease (NCD), affecting both children and adults.

According to WHO, inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in the lungs cause asthma symptoms, which can be any combination of cough, wheeze, shortness of breath and chest tightness. These are also some of the symptoms of COVID-19 pandemic and probability is high that asthmatic people can easily be affected by novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, according to World Health Organization.

WHO cautions that older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness alerting Governments on the essence of continued disseminating information pertaining other diseases to protect Millions of people.

“The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face,”

“The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow)” says WHO.

Since its onset in 2019, COVID-19 confirmed cases are 180,506,924 while 3,911,517 have succumbed to the pandemic worldwide according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre. According Ministry of Health Malawi, in the country suspected COVID-19 cases peg at 262,827, confirmed cases are 35,388 and 1,179 have succumbed to the deadly virus.