President Museveni has urged Ugandans to frequently exercise and eat healthy foods to prevent Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) that are becoming rampant in society today.
Museveni said that there is an increasing trend of obesity and associated NCDs among adult Ugandans with 2 out of 10 adults in Uganda being overweight or obese and 1 out of 4 having hypertension.
“Being fat is abnormal and suicidal. If you love eating too much, you should do enough exercise to burn the extra fat accumulated,” he said.
“I am 74-years-old with no blood pressure or diabetes. From 100kgs, I have been able to knock off 20kgs because of my fitness activities,” said Museveni.
The President was on Sunday morning officiated the second annual National Day of Physical Activity held at Kololo Independence grounds.
He further led a group of government officials and civilians on 5km walk around Kololo.
Museveni further asked medical personnel to find better ways of explaining and extending their messages on disease prevention to the common person as this will help in easy understanding of diseases and how they can be prevented.
He asked the Ministry of Health to find a more friendly and accommodative time for the event like Sunday afternoon after most people have come from church so that more Ugandans are able to participate in the walk.
The Minister of Health Jane Aceng asked Ugandans to make exercising a routine as this will prevent NCDs and also improve national productivity.
“NCD are now a serious public health problem. Currently causes of deaths due to the common four NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes stand at 27 percent while 40 percent of diseases in Uganda. This percentage is even expected to go up if we do not change our lifestyle behaviors,” she said
The State Minister for General duties at the Ministry of Health, Sarah Opendi Achieng asked road constructors and policy implementers to consider putting special walking lanes on all major roads where Ugandans can walk and exercise freely
“When you look at our roads, they are not friendly for walking, or running on. They are not well marked for Bodabodas, taxis and pediatricians making it hard for willing Ugandans to walk and exercise to work, or shopping,” she said
The National Day of physical activity is an initiative of the office of the President and Ministry of Health aimed at encouraging Ugandans to exercise and live health lives.
This year’s campaign was held under the theme ‘Your Health is your responsibility’.
As part of the campaign, the President launched the Presidential Initiative on healthy eating and healthy lifestyle booklet that gives a guideline of health diets, exercises, early checkups for different diseases.
Today, the Ministry organised free checkups for different NCDs at the same venue to allow Ugandans test and know their status.