Africa: AU Commemorates the Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day 2019 Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life

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African Union Commemorates the Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day 2019 Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life

Addis Ababa, March 07 2019: The African Union (AU) Medical Services Directorate commemorated the Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day today at the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters. The activities were highly attended by AU Staff as well as Ambassadors. The Day began by an active sensitization exercise and distribution of flyers at the AU the AU main gate.

Later on, presentations on healthy lifestyle were delivered followed by discussion and closing remarks for the commemoration of the Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day.

The theme for 2019 Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day commemoration is "Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life". This theme has been selected to emphasize the significant relationship between unhealthy lifestyle and premature mortality. The theme is in line with Aspiration 1 of the Agenda 2063 which is "A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development".

The Deputy Chairperson of the AUC H.E. Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey was the guest of honor during the 2019 Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day commemoration.

Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey welcomed the participants on behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission and stated that the decision to commemorate this day was taken in July 2008 by the Special Session of the African Union Ministers of Health and adopted by the Executive Council. The Decision was in line with the World Health Organization (WHO's) framework strategy for prevention and control of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) across Africa and the world.

In addition, Ambassador Quartey reiterated that the African Union is committed to lay a strong foundation for achieving Agenda 2063 an ambitious target of an African population that is healthy, well nourished, and enjoying a life expectancy of above 75 years. "The prolonged life expectancy that comes with healthy lifestyle will no doubt consolidate the African-driven response that aims to reduce the burden of diseases through scaled-up health interventions, inter-sectoral action and empowered communities as stipulated in the Africa Health Strategy 2016-2010" emphasized Ambassador Quartey.

The Deputy Chairperson of the AUC concluded by calling on everyone to join hands together to narrow the life-expectancy gap between Africa and the industrialized countries by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Welcoming the participants, Dr. Yankuba Kassama, Director, Medical Services underscored that adopting a healthy lifestyle is a low-cost solution that could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in Africa. The ability to successfully combine work, family commitments and personal life is important for the well-being of all of us. Dr. Yankuba Kassama stated that adopting a healthy lifestyle involves regular physical activity or exercise, healthy eating habits, reducing stress, avoiding tobacco use and alcohol abuse. On the other hand, adopting unhealthy lifestyles results in metabolic changes that increase the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Furthermore, the Director encouraged the audience to maintain good nutrition, have regular physical exercise, stop tobacco use and substance abuse, control alcohol use, manage stress, and ensure regular health check-ups. He added that there is a need to have policies in place to adopt a healthy lifestyle in the AU Commission.

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