Zimbabwe hosted the District Outreach for Care and Support (DOCAS) Day in Odzi this Friday to celebrate the lives of people living with duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) as well as mobilising resources to support people living with the rare condition.
DOCAS ambassador Tanya Mushohwe who organised the DOCAS Day celebrations bringing to the fore the need to assist people living with the rare condition said it is everyone’s responsibility and the day is one of the important events that help celebrate life in its totality.
Mount Olive Muscular Dystrophy Centre chief executive officer, Reverend Togara Mapingire said the absence of a national fund to support people living with the rare condition is affecting efforts to extend their life span.
He called for more support saying activities such as research and clinical tests as well as employing key important staff such as nurses and rehabilitation officers are part of key priorities among other support initiatives.
Meanwhile, it was a sad day for DOCAS as one of the children who was part of the pioneer beneficiaries of the Mount Olive Muscular Dystrophy Centre passed on at the age of 16 making it clear that the country needs to take seriously support for people living with DMD to help increase their average life span.
Ephraige and Naume Gwizo who have three children with the condition and parents of the deceased said the death of their son Tawanda calls for more support for DOCAS programmes while hailing the good works the organisation is doing to help the family.
It costs about US$30 000 per year to take care of people with DMD with increased corporate support helping to increase the average life span of the affected people while also improving their life styles.
DMD is a severe weakening of muscles that usually begins around the age of four in boys and worsens quickly.
Despite being discovered in the recent years in Zimbabwe, the condition that is affecting the world with the average lifespan of people living with the disease in the country standing at between 14 years to 20 while the average lifespan in developed world standing at over 40 years due to life style and support differences.