Lifestyle diseases a danger to country, says ex-health minister

MBARARA. Uganda is faced with a serious danger posed by lifestyle-related diseases, former Health minister Christine Ondoa has said.Dr Ondoa, who is currently the Director General, Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), said the World Health Organisation, has established that by the year 2025, the number of people suffering from and dying of lifestyle-related diseases will be more than those afflicted by malaria, tuberculosis and HIVAids.

“As we are talking of HIVAids, we need to tell the population to be aware of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and obesity which are on the increase,’’ Dr Ondoa said on Wednesday at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

She was speaking during the institution’s belated Aids Day celebrations.Dr Ondoa, however, noted that the lifestyle-related diseases can easily be avoided by increasing awareness on proper lifestyle.

University hailedShe hailed the university’s HIVAids policy and pledged UAC’s support which she said would include repackaging of messages targeting the students. She said hearing the same message repeatedly bores, especially the youth.

The Dean of Students, who is also the university’s HIVAids institutional policy patron, Mr Emmanuel Kyagaba, said the policy was launched in 2005 to mitigate effects of HIVAids.

Mr Kyagaba said the implementation of the policy faces a challenge of little funding, saying currently, the funds used are generated locally and internally and are inadequate.

Lifestyle diseasesDefinition: Lifestyle diseases refer to diseases that result because of choices people make in their life. They are mostly common in developed nations where people are inclined towards eating unhealthy foods, having a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. Ailments: Common lifestyle diseases include heart disease, cancer, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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