KAMPALA– Health Ministry set to launch National Day of Physical Activity to encourage people to live healthy lifestyles
More and more Ugandans are dying of Non Communicable Diseases each year that passes.
According to data availed by the Ministry of Health, 40 per cent of all the deaths in a year result from Non Communicable Diseases.
It is for that reason that the government of Uganda will on Sunday July 8 launch the National Day of Physical Activity.
The occasion themed “Be Physically Active, Be Healthy” will be presided over by President Yoweri Museveni and starts at 6:00 a.m.
The day is intended to inform the population about the importance of physical activity and its relevance in preventing NCD, according to the Ministry of Health, the organizers of the event.
In a message inviting Ugandans to join him at the launch, President Museveni said “Ugandans are becoming much more inactive and eating the wrong food. Many people are no longer dying from the old diseases, almost half of the people who die now die because of their lifestyle.”
The president then appealed to the line ministers to create avenues for people to work out. “Create favorable environment for regular activity and exercise. Make healthy foods available and affordable and senstise masses on healthy eating habits,” he said.
President Museveni said the messages on healthy living have to be skewed differently.
“The people in urban areas are over eating, and those in rural areas are under eating. On the one hand we have obesity and on the other we have stunted growth,” Museveni said.
The president directed the District Health Officers and Chief Administrative Officers to go to the radios and senstise the masses on what right feeding is.
Museveni also addressed himself to habits that he says are a great risk and yet one could do without them. “I do not know why people drink alcohol and chew tobacco. I am 73 years-old threatening 74 and I have never drunk. I once tried to drink alcohol in a hotel in Mbararaand it was too bitter,” he said.
“People need to be told that alcohol consumption will damage their livers. If you are to drink, drink a little just to socialize. Reduce on salt and sugar intake,” Museveni offered some parental advice.
Government departments and some Non-Governmental Organisations have already taken on the workout challenge and many have set aside time blocks for staff to engage in physical exercise at least once a week.
Research shows the common NCD killing Ugandans are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the burden of NCD will reduce with population-wide interventions against tobacco use, cutting on raw salt intake, early detection and treatment and improvedhealthcare.
Non- communicable diseases account for 60 per cent of global deaths according to the WHO.