Minister of health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has urged Ugandans to encourage their children to engage in physical activities to curb non communicable diseases.
The minister was addressing the press this morning, about the forthcoming National Day of Physical Activities that will take place on Sunday 14th July 2019 at Kololo Independence grounds.
Aceng said in Uganda, the prevalence of obesity is at 5% while 1 in every 4 adults globally are not physically active.
“Physical inactivity is reported as the 4th leading risk factor for death globally causing 6% of deaths worldwide. It is estimated that 1 in 4 adults globally are not physically active enough,” she said.
She added that results from Uganda non communicable disease (NCD) survey (2014) showed that Ugandans are increasingly becoming physically inactive.
“High physical inactivity was noted especially in urban population where 8% of adults were considered physically inactive compared to 3.5% among rural population.
Adults aged between 50 – 69 years are more physically inactive (7.8%) compared to the younger age group 18 – 29 years (4.1%) and 30 – 49 years (3.2%)”
Aceng added that females are less active compared to males at 4.9% and 3.7% respectively.
The minister also urged the population to adopt healthier lifestyles such as consumption of Health diets like eating fruits and vegetables, reduce intake of salts and sugars, avoiding tobacco and alcohol use and check-up and screenings to detect diseases especially NCDs.
The most common NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure among others and according to Aceng these can be reduced by conducting physical activities.
Aceng further said that the Ministry is currently developing national physical activity guidelines and supporting promotion of physical education in schools as part of the effort to increase physical activity amongst population.
The second edition of the national day of physical activities will be conducted under the theme ” my health my responsibility”
Activities that will take place include a 10km walk led H.E the president, aerobics, football, netball, volleyball and basketball, screening of High blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases among others.