By STEVEN ZANDE –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has challenged Zambians to observe good nutrition by eating healthy foods and watching their weight to reduce the risk of being hit by lifestyle diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure.
He said yesterday that a healthy population would reduce the burden being put on the nation’s healthcare system by the rising cases of non-communicable diseases.
Mr Lungu said this in Lusaka yesterday when he launched the 2017 Health Week whose theme was ‘Promoting Wellness for All’ where he stressed the government’s commitment to tackling alcohol abuse and smoking in a concerted efforts to attain a healthy population.
The President said ‘Health Week’ provided an opportunity for citizens to take stock of their personal health and enabled Government take steps to enhance the participation of all people in promoting good health.
He said Zambians should take ownership of their health by cultivating good eating habits and exercising regularly saying the results would help reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in the country while the government continued investing in infrastructure to support and encourage citizens to take part in various sporting activities.
Mr Lungu said this was in line with Government’s efforts under the Patriotic Front (PF) leadership to promote improved living standards and foster good health among citizens.
“A healthy lifestyle that we are aspiring for as a nation cannot be achieved without proper infrastructure. I am therefore delighted that that the improved roads, street lights and improved drainage systems that the PF Government has invested in will facilitate better living standards for people in the country,” the President said..
Mr Lungu urged citizens from all parts of the country to participate in Health Week by seeking medical care from the nearest health service delivery points, which would be dotted around the various communities.
He said the 2017 Health Week had been launched in Matero township, because the area had a robust sport and health infrastructure, good sanitation and good living conditions, which made it a model location for promoting good health in the nation.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said wellness which was anchored on physical exercise was a crucial factor in national development.
Dr Chilufya said President Lungu had demonstrated commitment to ensuring that Zambia had a robust health sector by prioritizing adequate investment in infrastructure and other health requirements.
United Nations (UN) resident coordinator Janet Rogan said the proliferation of non-communicable diseases required a closer look, because lifestyle ailments had potential to put pressure on the national health care system.
Ms Rogan praised the Government for measures it had implemented to prevent disease as this would help achieve a healthy population which was a key development indicator.
Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe said Lusaka was pleased to flag off the Health Week, an occasion that called for individuals to pause and reflect on their personal health.
After the speeches, the President and the First Lady Esther Lungu participated in aerobics and running.