Health Ministry to Reduce Non-Communicable Diseases through Physical Activity

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The Ministry of Health has reported an increase in non-communicable diseases among the population. Which include cardiovascular diseases, asthma, blood pressure and cancers.

State Minister for Primary Healthcare, Hon. Margaret Muhanga, noted that the ministry has recorded over five million depression cases this year and over a million anxiety cases as well.

She made these remarks on June 13, 2024 ahead of the national celebration of physical activity that will be on June 16, 2024, at Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

According to Muhanga, the ministry is focusing on strategic redress to non-communicable diseases by enhancing physical activities, as she explains. These include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, chronic obstructive, luminary disease, sickle cell disease, and mental illness among others.

“These diseases are largely caused by mobility, modifiable risk factors, such as unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, alcoholism, tobacco use, smoking, substance abuse, and increased physical inactivity,” Muhanga said.

She further revealed that as one works, one needs to be physically active. Otherwise, the work someone does will also determine the health level of someone being exposed to these communicable diseases.

In a related development, the Assistant Commissioner for Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr. Gerald Mutungi, has also revealed plans to issue physical exercise guidelines to the public.

“These guidelines for physical activity will guide the public on which physical activity to do, by what age group, and how much of those physical activities you need to do,” Mutungi emphasized.

Mutungi stated that different age groups need different levels of physical activity. But also, they are vulnerable groups, like pregnant women, and disabled children, you cannot ramp them up with everybody else.

As Uganda braces itself for a paradigm shift towards preventative healthcare, the concerted efforts by the Health Ministry aim to empower individuals to proactively combat non-communicable diseases through regular physical activity and lifestyle modifications.

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