Kampala — Hundreds of people took part in the launch of the national day of physical activity at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala this morning. Participants started convening at the Ceremonial Grounds as early as 6:30am dressed in White t-shirts, loose fitting cotton and polyester pants and running shoes.
The national day of physical activity that will take place every second Sunday of July is aimed at reducing the high rate on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) among Ugandans. Non-communicable diseases are medical conditions or diseases that don't result from infectious agents.
They refer to chronic diseases that last for long periods of time and progress slowly such as heart diseases, stroke, cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney, osteoporosis and Alzheimers among others.
This reporter spoke to some of the people who attended launch about the benefits of physical activity. Marvin Ssemakula, an officer in the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry, said physical activities are good to keep away diseases.
A 56- year- old teacher at Winter Land Primary School, Dorcus Nakkitandwe, says physical exercises help her to get a peaceful night.
Dr. John Omagino, a senior consultant at Uganda Heart Institute, says Ugandans need to carry out physical activity to avoid such disease.
While launching the first National Day of Physical Activity, President Museveni urged Ugandans to take part in physical activity on a daily basis to curb NCDs.
"The burden of Non-Communicable Diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases is of growing concern to our country. Today, these diseases account for 40 percent of all deaths annually. It is important that we do lifestyle audits and adopt more active schedules. In light of this, therefore, I will launch the National Day of Physical Activity on Sunday, July 8th, at Kololo Independence Grounds at 7am. I urge all of you to join me as we launch an offensive against these "diseases of prosperity," said Mr Museveni.
He later led an 8km walk accompanied by a police band, government officials, security personnel and school going children.
The procession started from Kololo and went through Jinja Road, Kampala road, Golf Course, Kamwokya and back to the grounds. Other activities included aerobics, netball, football and woodball.
According to the Health Ministry, there is an increase in the number of people dying as a result of NCDS. Is it estimated that at 40 percent of the deaths that occur in the country are due to NCDs like heart disease, cancers and diabetes.