The alarming rate in the rise of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and cancer in Mauritius calls for the attention of each and every citizen of the country. Thus, the population should be more health-conscious and give due importance to proper eating habits and physical exercises.

The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, made this statement on 11 April 2018 at the launching of the National Prevention Programme for NCDs at the Montagne Blanche Social Welfare Centre. The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, and other personalities were also present.

In his address, Dr Husnoo stated that NCDs can be prevented if a person avoids risk factors such as greasy food, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and tobacco. Instead, they should opt for a more healthy lifestyle such as consuming vegetables and fruits and practise physical activities regularly, he added.

While referring to NCDs' statistical rate in 2015, the Minister pointed out that diabetes stood at 22.8% among people aged between 25 to 74 years and hypertension was 28.4%. These figures are clear indicators that citizens are not showing enough concerns for their health, he emphasised.

Speaking about the Health Ministry's commitment in raising awareness on the NCDs' prevalence, Dr Husnoo outlined that various facilities are being provided for the welfare of the citizens. These include the setting up of health tracks and outdoor gyms across the island and the provision of screening services for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity and vision. The population should take maximum advantage of these services, he underscored.

For his part, Minister Bholah underlined that Government is giving due consideration to the health sector in Mauritius so as to improve the quality of life of all citizens. People of all age groups should be sensitised on healthcare to promote a clean and drug-free society, he added.

According to Minister Sesungkur, there is a tendency for many people to overlook the importance of leading a healthy life. Health, he underpinned, is key to the well-being and personal development of any individual and should therefore remain the priority of each citizen.

The National Prevention Programme has as objective to address the high prevalence of NCDs among the population. The programme comprises screening services for diabetes, hypertension, vision, Alzheimer, cholesterol and obesity as well as sensitisation, education and counselling activities aimed at sensitising the population on risk-factors of NCDs and on adopting healthy lifestyles.

Source: Government of Mauritius