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Health ministry to launch physical activity day

President Museveni to officiate National Physical Activity Day Launch slated tomorrow July 8 at Kololo. Government to offer free cancer screening services at the launch. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA– The Ministry of Health in a bid to fight non communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, among others will launch the first ever National Physical Activity Day on 8th July, 2018 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, an event that is expected to be officiated by President Yoweri Museveni.

‘We want to remind Ugandans the importance of exercises, most Ugandans live sedentary lifestyles. From home to work, in the comfort of a car, with no exercise at all, eating unhealthy food, etc and this is how many of them fall prey of these non-communicable diseases.’ said Health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Acheng.

According to Ministry of Health, 40% of deaths in Uganda are due to non-communicable diseases, 13% motor accidents, 9% cardio vascular diseases, 5% cancers and the remaining percentage is for other cases.

Dr.Acheng also revealed that according to a survey carried out in 2014-2015, it was found out that 1 out of 4 people were hypertensive and aware of it.

She advised that persons from the age of 17-54 should exercise at least 5hours a day, 2-2:30 in the morning and evening with activities like brisk walking, or going to the gym and those below 17 years, at least 30mins of exercise every day.

The National Physical Activity Day is expected to be celebrated annually on the second Sunday of July.

The launch of this day will kick off with an 8Km walk, flagged off by the President. Free screening of non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol levels, immunisation of yellow fever, Hepatitis B, aerobics, among other activities and since it’s also a day for the children there will be bouncing castles and other forms of entertainment.

Dr.Acheng also said that Ministry of Health together with their development partners and other stakeholders are advocating for space in Kampala where they’ll put equipment for exercising that will be free to the public.

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