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NHF advocates policies on physical activities to curb NCDs


Executive Director of the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), Dr. Kingsley Akinroye

To curb the prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases in Nigeria, the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) has called for more government policies on physical activities in public places, just as it launched its 2016 Nigerian Report Card on Physical Activity for children and youths

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies physical inactivity as the fourth leading cause of mortality and one of the greatest health challenges and determinants of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Globally, NCDs, primarily, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are responsible for 63 per cent of all deaths, (36 million out of 57 million global deaths). In Nigeria, NCDs accounted for 27 per cent of the total deaths in 2012, majority of which occurred during the most productive years due to the identified risks.

Also the WHO global NCD Action plan 2013 – 2030 provide a roadmap of policies and interventions which aims for a relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 10 per cent by the year 2015, and also to reduce premature deaths.

Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director, NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye said due to globalization and Urbanization in Nigeria, there have been rapid changes in life style with heavy impact on the health of the population, adding that the negative consequences of these life style are decreased physical activity which have led to a rise in life style related diseases such as NCDs.

“NCDs are becoming increasingly significant causes of disability and premature death in developing countries like Nigeria,” he said.

He stressed that due to the paucity of data on physical activity in Nigeria, and the need to achieve the NCDs global target on physical activity, the foundation and other committee made up of researcher from Nigerian University deemed it fit to explore on the causes and prevention of NCDs which resulted to the production of the physical activity report card, which is the second edition, following the maiden edition of 2013.

He said the report card is modeled after the Canadian report card that has been in use for years as an advocacy tool to promote awareness, policy, research and communication, adding that the card will initiate a thrust for action on the pivotal role of physical activity in the promotion of the health of Nigerians especially in the fight against NCDs.

In his speech the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who said NCDs occur during the most productive year, urged stakeholders in the health sector and other health provider institutions to collaborate in the campaign for healthy lifestyle.

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