JOHANNESBURG, May 10 (Xinhua) — The South African Department of Health on Thursday called on South Africans to partner with the government in preventing life-style-associated diseases in marking the International Move for Health Day.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the government is worried by raising of non-communicable diseases (NCD) among South Africans, the majority of which are caused by life-style choice.
He said most of such sicknesses are caused by poor or wrong diet, especially taking too much fatty and salty food, smoking and lack of physical activities.
“There is overwhelming evidence that many of these diseases are preventable through physical activity and exercise among others,” Motsoaledi said in a statement.
The minister said the latest available South African burden of diseases study showed non-communicable diseases contributed 28 percent of the total disease burden.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Move for Health Day was first marked in 2002 by the organization as part of promoting physical activity following the worrying increase of NCDs.
The global health body reported that more than 36 million people died globally from NCDs in 2008, which constituted 63 percent of all deaths.It said this was mainly from cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
“More than nine million of these deaths could have been prevented,” the government minister said.
According to the health department, the four major contributors to the onset of NCDs include use of tobacco and its products, excessive use of alcohol, poor diet and physical inactivity.
The South Africa government’s national health report says cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancers contributed 12 percent of the overall burden.
Latest mortality figures indicate that around 28 percent of all mortality in South African is due to non-communicable diseases. Motsoaledi said the burden from NCDs in South Africa is two to three times higher than that in developed countries.
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Category: Africa News