World Health Day: Healthy lifestyle crucial for preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases, say WHO-MoH

World Health Day: Healthy lifestyle crucial for preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases, say WHO-MoH

Representative of WHO in Timor-Leste, Arvin Mathur (Image Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 06 abril 2022 (TATOLI) -The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) urged communities to practice and maintain the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ to prevent and control communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country.

To commemorate the 2022 World Health Day in Timor-Leste, WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur called on the Timorese people to practice healthy habits to prevent themselves from both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Healthy living is the steps, actions, and strategies we use to achieve health and well-being.

“In terms of physical health, what could be the standards of healthy living included physical activity, healthy and balanced diet, healthy body weight, no smoking or tobacco consumption, and last but not the least, moderate alcohol intake. These five things are very important to be followed in the local context as well as in the sociocultural of any other countries,” Mathur told TATOLI, at his office, in Caicoli, Dili, today.

Mathur encouraged Timorese people to be climate-friendly: “Individuals must take responsibility to say no to plastic, ensuring their surroundings, houses, and neighborhood are free from any vector controlling containers which can allow breeding of mosquito, using renewable energy to put the fossil fuel on the ground so that our planet earth can save as well.”

The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets, said WHO.

In addition, the National Director of Timor-Leste’s Public Health, Frederico Bosco also urged the communities to keep practicing the Covid-19 preventive measures and receive the vaccines: “We need to prepare ourselves for the future wave.”

“Fortunately, the administration of the covid-19 vaccine in Timor-Leste has been going well. We shouldn’t reverse this progress and therefore, all communities must have to be vaccinated to be better prepared for the future wave,” he stressed.

Apart from Covid-19, we also have dengue which emerged as a major public health problem. It has claimed 50 lives and 3959 cases in the first three months of 2022.

“Dengue indeed threatens our public health. You know, efforts had been made by the Ministry of Health, humanitarian partners, and relevant parties to mitigate the dengue outbreak in the country. Strengthening mosquito and vector control programs, involving local authorities in the national dengue prevention campaign was important to combat this communicable disease,” he stressed.

Factors contributing to the recent increase of dengue cases in the country included flooding rains which created ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes, flower bases, discarded vehicle tires, etc.

“Here are the best practices for reducing mosquito breeding sites: “Communities need to keep cleaning their environment regularly, including flower bases, discarded vehicle tires, water tanks, etc,” Bosco said.

He called on communities to visit the nearest health facilities when experiencing signs of dengue fever symptoms, including 104 F (40 C), headache, muscle, bone or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, swollen glands, and rash.

Another communicable disease that affected so many people in Timor-Leste includes acute respiratory infection.

With the celebration of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health encouraged the communities to practice the aforementioned healthy habits to prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Bosco informed that high blood pressure has also affected many people in Timor-Leste: “Many young Timorese experience high blood pressure at the age of 25. Meanwhile, many Timorese people have diabetes at the age of 35 years.

“It’s a big concern for us as NCDs accounted for 42.6 % of all deaths in the country. Therefore, early treatment is important to prevent further severe effects such as stroke, diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and kidney failure”.

WHO said that Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Almost three-quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Meanwhile,  according to National Today, in december 1945, officials of Brazil and China proposed the creation of an international health organization, that is all-encompassing and absolutely independent from any government powers.

Half a year later, in New York, in july 1946, the constitution of the World Health Organization was approved. Said constitution entered into force on april 7, 1948, as 61 countries signed in agreement for the inception of the NGO.

As one of the first official acts of WHO, they created the celebration of World Health Day. It was first observed on july 22, 1949, but the date was later changed to april 7, the establishment of WHO, to encourage student participation.

Since 1950, the Worth Health Day uses a different theme and theme each year selected by the current WHO Director-General, based on the suggestions of the member governments and staff.

World Health Day provides a global opportunity to focus attention on important public health issues that affect the international community. On the occasion of World Health Day, promotional programs are launched that continue for a long time after april 7.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo


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