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Konzo disease testament of poverty-Dr Mujajati

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ZAMBIA Medical Association president Dr Aaron Mujajati says poverty is behind the outbreak of konzo disease in Mongu. Dr Mujajati said yesterday that the outbreak is testament of how poor a country and its people are. He said once an individual is affected by konzo, a disease characterised by abnormal walking, stiffness of the legs and paralysis, the situation cannot be reversed. Ministry of Health spokesperson Reuben Kamoto Mbewe on Saturday said a team of health workers had been sent to Mongu to sensitise people on the outbreak of konzo disease. 

"Konzo is a disease of poverty. However, it is not a new disease, it has been around for a very long time. This is a disease that affects communities that eat cassava. So, in communities which eat cassava, and where cassava is not well processed, people end up with Konzo. You will find it in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. It is testament of how poor a country and its people are," Dr Mujajati said. "The long-term prevention of konzo is linked to the socioeconomic status and the general politics of the country. You have to lift the socioeconomic status of the people. Doing so means supporting farmers, job creation, improving education. Once you improve the general socioeconomic status of the people, konzo is something that you will never hear about. It is a disease of poverty and only found in countries that are very poor like Zambia. We need to approach it in a holistic manner."-See more on: Post Zambia