Health department calls for more physical activity
9 May 2012
With South Africa joining the rest of the world in marking the International Move for Health Day tomorrow, health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has called upon South Africans to partner with his department in preventing life-style diseases.
“In my Budget Vote speech in Parliament last I raised sharply the worrying increase of non-communicable diseases the majority of which are caused by life-style choice. Most of these diseases are caused for instance by poor diet (fatty and salty foods), smoking and of course lack of physical activity. There is overwhelming evidence that many of these diseases are preventable through physical activity (exercise) among others”, said the health Minister.
The Move for Health Day was first marked in 2002 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as part of promoting physical activity following the worrying increase of NCDs.
The WHO reports that more than 36 million people died globally from NCDs in 2008, which constitutes 63% of all deaths. This was mainly from cardiovascular diseases (48%), cancers (21%), chronic respiratory diseases (12%), and diabetes (3%). Critically more than nine million of these deaths could have been prevented.
Achieving a long and healthy life for all requires interventions that promote the health of the population and prevent diseases due to NCDs. Specifically four major risk factors were identified as contributing to the onset of NCDs including: Use of tobacco and tobacco o products, excessive use of alcohol, poor diet and physical inactivity.
According to the latest available South African burden of diseases study, non-communicable diseases contributed 28% of the total disease burden - measured by disability-adjusted life years.
Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases and cancers contributed 12% of the overall burden. Latest mortality figures indicate that around 28% of all mortality in South African is due to non-communicable diseases. The burden from NCDs is two to three times higher than that in developed countries.
For more information please contact:
Tel: 012 395 8493
Cell: 079 517 3333
Issued by: Department of Health
9 May 2012
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