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WHO, Partners launch Move for Health Initiative

May 28, 2012, 1:28 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

World Health Organization, and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, recently launched what they call  “Move for Health Initiative organised by Scanaid Senior Secondary School.

The initiative formed part of the Health Academy Project initiated by the WHO, to create a global health and technology network that is unique as it provides health information to the general public for the purpose of health improvements. It also provides guidance in terms easily understood by people from all walks of life and all age groups taken into consideration, their individual cultural sensitivities. Information is prepared in English and then translated into the local language of the country in a culturally acceptable form.

Speaking at the ceremony held at ScanAid Senior Secondary School in Brufut, WHO Health Promotion Officer, Momodou Gassama, in his statement, said: “Physical inactivity is defined as bodily movement produced by skeleton muscles, which requires energy expenditure and has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality 6% of deaths globally, this follows high blood pressure 7.5 million deaths in 2004 13% tobacco use 9% and high blood glucose 6%”.

Mr. Gassama said overweight and obesity are responsible for 5% of global mortality, and levels of physical inactivity are rising in many countries with major implications for the general health of people worldwide and for the prevalence of NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer and their risk factors such as raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and overweight.

He added that, physical inactivity is estimated as being the principal cause for approximately 30% of ischemic heart disease burden and in addition, NCDs now accounts for nearly half of the overall global burden of disease; it estimated currently that of every 10 deaths, 6 are attributable to non -communicable conditions.

According to Mr. Gassama, “of the estimated 57 million global deaths registered in 2008, 36 million were due to NCDs and total projection for 2030 is 55 million, where as annual infectious disease deaths are projected to decline over the next 20 years”.

Mr. Gassama revealed that the four main risk factors are tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and harm use of alcohol.

“Regular moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports has significant benefits for health,” Mr. Gassama said, adding that, for instance, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression.

“Moreover adequate levels of physical activity will decrease the risk of a hip or vertebral fracture and help control weight,” he added.

For her part, the principal of Scan aid Senior Secondary School, Mariama Baldeh, in her welcoming remarks, expressed happiness in celebrating the slogan “move for health”.

 Health is wealth as a human being can be poor and have health or rich without good healths, he says, adding that wealth cannot save life and a health mind is in healthy body.

Principal Baldeh thanked WHO for such initiatives which she described as timely.

Omar Badjie of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, expressed delight at the project, saying “This is very important as far as non-communicable disease is concerned.”

Physical activity is lacking, and there is accumulation of fat, Mr Badjie said, adding that once one has diabetes or hypertension “you cannot be cure but you can follow the advice of your doctor”.

Mr. Badjie advised people of the gathering and all and sundry to be doing some form of good exercise or to practice the habit of walking at least 35 to 45 minutes everyday as physical activity.

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