Zambia: Lifestyle Killing One in Three Zambians

A LATEST health report on Zambia says one in every three deaths reported in the country across all ages is now due to non-communicable diseases.

The report says diseases such as diabetes and cancer have become a major cause of disability and premature death in Zambia.

The Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health in Zambia Report says that non-communicable diseases are a matter of growing public concern.

"Unhealthy lifestyles, urbanisation, liberal market forces, physical inactivity, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and lack of information are the main causes of non-communicable diseases," the report said.

It says that in 2017, a survey showed that 12.3 per cent of adults smoked tobacco while 27.7 per cent of adults consumed alcohol.

However, 34.7 per cent of adults were not engaged in any vigorous exercise while 24 per cent were obese.

The report said that the current trends showed that cases of non-communicable diseases were increasing.

The report said 33 per cent of all deaths in Zambia among all age groups was due to the non-communicable diseases.

The four main diseases causing death were cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"The Zambian Government has recognised the challenges in the strategic plan 2016-2021 and developed an action plan to reduce unhealthy diet and/or promote healthy diets to reduce the prevalence and incidence of major non-communicable diseases through primary health care approach," the report said.

The report said one way of reducing cases of diseases such as diabetes required the public to shift their perception towards food and exercise.

And a medical website eMedihealth says that apart from limiting alcohol consumption, people should aim to have seven to eight hours of sleep.

The website says people should exercise and maintain a healthy body weight as well as incorporate reasonable amounts of apple cider vinegar, turmeric, garlic and ginger to their food intake.

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