By Ronald Kabuye
Ugandans have been urged to engage more in physical activities for at least 30 minutes per day and to adopt other healthier lifestyle such as, consumption of healthy diets, reduction on intake of salts and sugar, tobacco and alcohol use in order to fight non communicable diseases.
This has been revealed by the minister of health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng while declaring a national physical activity day which shall be officially inaugurated on 8th July by President Yoweri Kagutta museveni at kololo ceremonial grounds under the theme be physically active, be heavy and a slogan “My health is my responsibility”
Physical inactivity is the major cause of Non communicable diseases like Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, bone, joint and back problems and lack of physical fitness. It is also the fourth leading death Factor globally accounting for 6% death annually.
Due to physical inactivity, government losses billions of money annually in treating related illness in the country and 77 million United States dollars in referring patients with related illness abroad.
To emphasize the move, physical activities has been made compulsory in schools and no school shall be allowed to operate with showing the grounds where the pupils and students shall carryout the physical activities from.
The NCD multi sectoral coordinating committe also selected four components to streamline and develop policies for in order to curb NCDs and these include including physical activities, health foods and alcohol while for tobacco and smoking it’s policy is already in place.
According to the Uganda NCD risky Factor survey 2014, physical inactivity in adults in urban areas accounts for 8% as compared to 3.5% rural areas, females account for 4.9% as compared to males at 3.7%.
Some of the causes of physical inactivity include motorised transport, use of computers, sitting for long hours, remote control gadgets and watching TV for long hours.
One can overcome physical inactivity by engaging in activities like walking, jogging, running, cycling, dancing, gardening among others.
Dr. Gerald Mutungi the head of Non communicable diseases at the ministry of health said that the president’s message on physical activities shall give them bargaining power for urban authority to create work out spaces as opposed to selling the existing spaces to investors.
On the event day, president Museveni will led a 8 to 10 kilometer walk and at kololo ceremonial grounds activities to be conducted shall include athletics, aerobic, netball, volleyball, football amongst others in addition to screening and giving appropriate medical advice.
The activities shall also be conducted at regional levels