Journalist tackles topic on rare diseases
Zimbabwean based TV host and journalist, Sympathy Sibanda is exuberant to use her broadcasting skills to host medical and health professionals to talk about rare diseases. This is a move aimed at encouraging research and awareness into ailments that are hardly advocated for in the mainstream media and medical field.
This move comes as she enters a second season of the show, ‘The Dose‘, which airs weekly on 3Ktv via DSTV. The show hosts various medical professionals to educate viewers about various ailments including pandemics, rare diseases, and as well correct misconceptions on the different diseases prevalent in different communities.
“I am delighted to be entering a second season of tackling health issues. It is my joy to be the voice that interrogates the various information and become the first port of call for heath related information. Most people suffer from lack of trusted information. In the age of proliferation in religious dogma, most people ditch the medical way of life and think every illness is caused by witchcraft when these conditions could be easily solved by getting adequate information and attention. This is why I value The Dose so much as a free source of consulting,” said Sibanda.
Some of the rare conditions tackled in previous shows include molar pregnancy, testicular torsion, carpal tunnel syndrome, esophageal cancer, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis among many others. These are rarely talked about and are not part of the calendar commemorations like cervical and breast cancer.
“In Zimbabwe, like many African countries when one has a disease that is hard to understand they don’t seek treatment from the doctors but from religious leaders and traditionalists. While it is not a crime to seek religious solutions that fit one’s personal preference, thinking that all illnesses are caused by witches rather than a normal pathogen, virus, or any other cause is a crime. Information is the only way out of this situation. Many people die in their homes because they would rather trust their religious leaders than medical professionals,” Sibanda highlighted.
The Dose is a journalistic initiative that strives to lobby for and advocate for increased medical attention to, and funding for research into, rare diseases.
“With globalisation came global diseases. Through The Dose’s weekly show, we will lobby till we see behavioural changes in the community as well as funders of research. Attaining a healthy nation is a possible vision,” said Sibanda.