Lifestyle diseases and obesity pose a huge threat to the world and a bigger percentage of victims are in a low developed country with complications to access affordable medicine, however, the cheapest way to prevent non-communicable is to sport, experts have learnt.

The experts were speaking at the world’s heart day celebrated every last Sunday of September that gathered international experts and local officials.

The event took place in Kayonza district and gathered officials, health experts, students from different schools on the organization by the Right to play in collaboration with partners to celebrate the Worlds heart day that takes place 30th annually.

The event was also engaged with car-free day activities; testing of high blood pressure and body mass index and overweight aimed at carrying and mobilizing the threat of the lifestyle diseases.

According to recent statistics from Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC); overall, the Rwanda NCD survey found that 2.8 per cent are obese, 14.3 per cent are overweight and 7.8 per cent underweight.

Obesity is prevalent in the age group 35 to 54 and females account for 4.7 per cent. Additionally, the prevalence of obesity is more predominant in urban areas with 10.2 per cent and Kigali City with 7.7 per cent.

Prof. Joseph Mucubitsi, the President of the Rwanda Heart Foundation and specialist in the infant’s congenital heart diseases revealed that 17.9 Million of people die because of the non-communicable diseases.

“And this takes place in the low-medium income countries like Rwanda following the fact that patients in those countries can’t access medicine for such serious diseases. So the cheapest way of preventing it is to do sports and through physical exercises,” he added.

He added; “Air pollution can also cause cardiovascular diseases and through the car-free day there are little chances of air pollution. Particularly, in Rwanda during car-free day movements of cars are limited in the wake to reduce the amount carbon-dioxide in the air, tobacco, alcohol and drugs should be avoided too to minimize the increase of non-communicable diseases,” he pinned.

Jonathan Lea-Howarth, Country Director, right to Play, a non-governmental organization working with volunteers and partners to use sports to enhance childhood development sports, said, sports do not only keep away infants from the cardio-vascular diseases but also enhances their thinking capabilities.

“We want to arouse critical thinking among students with sports in Rwanda through an engaged partnership of teachers and parents. I believe if we can educate the next generation of Rwanda with a play-based approach,” Lea-Howarth said.

He added that people should be aware of the planet’s global warming and good initiative like Rwanda’s Car-free day should be transported to other countries not only to reduce ozone layer effect but to reduce health threatening lifestyle diseases.

Governor Eastern Province, Fred Mufuriki, said that sports are the source of having good health, reducing lifestyle diseases as well as controlling and preventing a cardiovascular epidemic.

Mufuruki said more efforts is needed in the fight against Cardiovascular diseases in Rwanda as well as lifestyle diseases that are on a high rise in sub-Saharan Africa.

He said the government’s program of the car-free day where society engages and interact through exercises is one of the methods to fight against the lifestyle diseases and eradicate non-communicable diseases.

Mufuruki, said sports diverts school from drug abuse, sexual temptations and boosts their performances in class. Thus, sports, especially for the young generation, is a way to fight against cardiovascular diseases.

The Express News

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