Mauritius: Prescription of Physical Activity As One of the Strategies to Tackle Non Communicable Diseases in Mauritius

Mike of the Uganda NCD Alliance leads a parade around the community in Kampala to raise awareness of NCDs (file photo).

A workshop on implementation of exercise prescription in Mauritius was held on 03 December 2018 at Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes. Dr Anwar Husnoo, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life in his speech, reiterated the government strong commitment to fight the NCD scourge. The latter, he stated, is accentuated by the low levels of physical activity in the Mauritian population with only 23% of the adult population meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations of 150 weekly minutes of physical activity and only 19% of the secondary school students engaged in regular physical activities.

He welcomed the excellent joint collaborative initiative of his Ministry and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to address physical inactivity which is the 4th leading risk factor for death worldwide. He elaborated on the myriad health and social benefits of regular physical activity. Speaking about the measure to implement physical activity prescription in Mauritius, the Minister pointed out that this will represent a paradigm shift in the way patients receive treatment and will contribute a lot in reducing the public health care burden.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr J.C Stephan Toussaint stated that the national Sport and Physical Activity Policy 2018-2028 provides a roadmap for a healthier Mauritius and lauded the personal involvement of the Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth in the promotion of sport and physical activity among the population. Were also present at the event the WHO Representative, Mauritius, Dr Laurent Musango and the Sport Advisor to the Prime Minister, Sarah Rawat-Currimjee.

During the workshop the participants were given an overview of the National Sport and Physical Activity Policy by a representative from the PORTAS Consultancy. Also present at the workshop, Professor Robert Copeland from the University of Sheffield Hallam and project manager for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine in Sheffield, a London 2012 Olympic Games legacy programme that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation through sport, exercise and physical activity, spoke on a whole system approach to physical activity policy by sharing his UK experience. The promotion of physical activity in the country is in line with what WHO recommended in the National Assessment of Health Systems Challenges and Opportunities for better Non-Communicable Disease Outcomes in Mauritius.

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