“Ma Swastha, Mero Desh Swastha” campaign launched (In photos)

- Prakash Chandra Timilsena, Kathmandu

Apr 14, 2017-

With an objective to improve the state of health problems and challenge people to adopt healthy lifestyles, Health Minister Gagan Thapa unveiled yet another ambitious plan to embed preventive measures in healthcare and encourage people to opt for healthy practices.

A rally was organised from Dasrath Stadium to Basantapur in the Capital calling for people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal launched the yearlong campaign of the Health Ministry on Friday to promote healthy behaviours across the country.

Statistics point to an alarming health situation in Nepal: one third of the country’s population has hypertension and 15 percent has diabetes; 44 percent deaths are attributed to non-communicable diseases while around 10,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Also, the Health Ministry estimates that 18 percent of the population is overweight with four percent people obese.

The campaign called “Mero Barsha 2074” with the theme “Ma Swastha, Mero Desh Swastha” will urge the people to adopt healthy lifestyles and curb alcohol intake and quit smoking while promoting exercise and nutritious foods. The programmes will be run by the health posts, district hospitals and public health offices in collaboration with the other local stakeholders including schools.

In the campaign, PM Dahal and Health Minister Thapa will seek people’s commitment to adopting five key behaviours: stopping consumption of alcohol, tobacco or tobacco-related products; exercising regularly; eating healthy and nutritious foods; having routine check-ups; and watching the health of family members.

According to the ministry, particular focus is on checking consumption of alcohol and tobacco products because a majority of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) stem from this habit. The ministry shows that 19 percent of the people are smokers while 17 percent drink alcohol.

Minister Thapa said something was found amiss in the approach to healthcare services because the government had been widening the scope of free health services while people continued to indulge in unhealthy activities. He said the increasing number of NCD patients requiring treatment would increase the government’s costs.

Energy Minister, Forest Minister among other senior government officials and dignitaries took part in the rally.

Published: 14-04-2017 09:46

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