Reacting to the growing cases of multimorbidity challenges, various stakeholders across the African continent held a 3-day retreat at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome (MLW) in Blantyre, Malawi.
The “Multimorbidity Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: A regional Retreat” brought together government officials, practicing clinical workers, and academics to explore ideal frameworks for conceptualising the problem of multimorbidity.
One of the organisers Associate Professor for Medicine and Anthropology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Justin Dixon said the retreat focused on enhancing collaboration among various players in an effort to arrest multimorbidity in Sub–Saharan Africa.
“This retreat is a success; I am overwhelmed with the positive feedback from participants. We have resolved to create an alliance for multimorbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa that will positively impact research and applied for works on multimorbidity,” said Dixon.
Malawi Liverpool Wellcome (MLW)’s senior research associate who is the co-director of the multilink study and a member of the organising committee for the multimorbidity retreat Dr. Felix Limbani said the retreat was the first of its kind and presented an opportunity for the creation of working groups around themes as well as sub themes that emerged during deliberations.
In addition, Dr. Limbani hailed all participants because they shouldered costs related to their participation in the retreat saying that demonstrates commitment and passion toward addressing multimorbidity in the region.
One of the participants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Dr. Abbi Manique Bilungula who is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist at the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit at the University Hospital of Kinshasa in DRC said: “This retreat pushed me to see the problem from another angle and see my patients, to think about to better help them,” said Bilungula.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, despite the improved life expectancy over the recent decades which now exceeds the age of 75 in nearly 60 countries the multimorbidity challenge in developed countries is at 40 percent which means 40 in every 100 people are in such in multiple illness condition with low-income countries at a greater risk.