Museveni, who participated in a 10.5-kilometer walk, inaugurated the National Day of Physical Activity at the Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala to raise awareness about importance of physical activity, staying fit and healthy.
The national day is held under the theme, “Be Physically Active, Be healthy,” aiming to beat NCDs like heart disease, cancers, diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), which cause premature deaths.
“Polio is no longer killing anybody. Measles, small pox are not killing anyone. Ugandans are dying because of Non Communicable Diseases. NCDs are caused by too much food and too little exercise,” said Museveni.
“I am glad we have launched this campaign. I hope all Ugandans will wake up. I thank the ministry of health for sensitizing us about nutrition and exercising,” he said.
Physical inactivity is reported as the 4th leading risk factor for death in the one in every four adults not physically active enough in the country.
The activities of the launch included free screening for NCDs, yellow fever and hepatitis B vaccination, running, jogging, dancing, cycling and aerobics, among others.
Ruth Aceng, the minister of Health, said increased physical activity should be combined with eating healthy that includes more fruits and vegetables, reducing the intake of salt and sugars, stop smoking of tobacco and limit consumption of alcohol.
The NCD risk factor survey (2014) showed hugh physical inactivity was noted in the urban population where 8 percent of adults were considered inactive compared to 3.5 percent among rural population.
According to the ministry of health, 7.8 percent of adults aged between 50 and 69 are more physically inactive compared to the younger age groups of 18-29 at 4.1 percent and 30-49 at 3.2 percent.