S Africans called on to fight lifestyle diseases

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pretoria - Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has expressed concern over the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in South Africa. He highlighted the need for concerted action across all sectors to address the problem.

Motsoaledi said NCDs were responsible for more deaths and illnesses worldwide than any other cause. Despite the fact that HIV and Aids related deaths and illnesses predominate in South Africa, the number of people living with and dying from NCDs was simultaneously rapidly increasing, he added. 

He attributed many of the diseases to lifestyle issues, which include exercise, diet, tobacco use and abuse of alcohol. He called on the public to adopt healthy lifestyle practices such as regular exercise, eating healthy (and limiting intake of salt and fat) and not to use tobacco. 

"Through these simple yet important measures, we can prevent a number of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension for instance," said Motsoaledi. 

The Department of Health will next week hold a National Summit on the Prevention and Control of NCDs. The two-day event will take place in Johannesburg on Monday and Tuesday.

The global burden caused by NCDs has prompted the United Nations to convene a high-level meeting of the Global Assembly on 19 - 20 September 2011 in New York. Participants will include heads of state, ministers and other senior representatives of governments. - BuaNews

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