66% of non-communicable diseases occur in developing countries – WHO
Mr. Abraham Arthur, Director of Communication for Health Promotion Watch Ghana, has called for a campaign against non-communicable diseases in developing countries.
He was speaking at a sensitization programme on diet and physical exercise for beauticians and hairdressers in Accra.
Mr Arthur indicated that NCDs accounted for 35 million (60 per cent) of the estimated 35 million global deaths and 47 per cent of the global burden of disease adding that the figures were expected to rise to 73 per cent and 60 per cent respectively by 2020.
NCD are medical conditions or diseases, which include heart, stroke, asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney, osteoporosis, Alzheimer and cataract.
They are also caused by a person’s background, lifestyle and environment.
These include age, sex, genetic exposure to air pollution and behaviours such as smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity which can lead to hypertension and obesity and in turn lead to increased risk of many NCDs.
The programme, organized by Health Promotion Ghana, a non-governmental organization, with support from Regenerative Health and Nutrition Department of Ministry of Health, was aimed at providing education on diet and physical exercise for over 300 members of Ghana Hair Dressers and Beauticians Association (GHABA).
It was also to encourage eating of balanced diet and engagement in adequate physical activity to promote good health and prevent sickness and increase the overall awareness and understanding of the influences of diet and physical activity.
Mr. Kurt Osei, a representative from Regenerative Health and Nutrition Department of Ministry of Health, advised participants to engage in regular physical exercises like running, dancing, brisk walking and jogging to avoid contracting diseases like stroke and diabetes.
He recommended at least 30 minutes of physical exercise a day to help increase digestion, mental alertness, stamina and to prevent obesity.
Madam Mercy Baah Adobea, a representative from the Ministry, stressed the need to drink 8-10 glasses of water or 6-8 sachets or 3-4 litres a day and said lack of adequate water could lead to headaches and tiredness.
Miss Lucy Ofori, a nurse, advised participants to take the right proportion of proteins, carbohydrate and fat and oil to avoid obesity which is highly prevalent among urban women dwellers.
She recommended at least eight hours of sleep each day to restore brain processes and replace the energy lost.
“Rest prevents fatigue, neck and back pain and improves mental alertness and concentration while prolonging life,” Miss Ofori said.