Category : Naya Blog
Published by the standard on May 8, 2017.
Image courtesy: Aga Khan Foundation
There is need to sensitize young people on how to prevent non-communicable diseases. This is because diseases such as cancer and heart conditions can be prevented if treatment is sought early or if healthy eating habits are adopted. The world Health Organization identifies cancer, diabetes, and respiratory and heart conditions as the four main non-communicable diseases. Poor eating habits, use of alcohol and tobacco, and lack of exercise are the main causes of these conditions. In 2009, the Ministry of Education adopted the national school health policy, with one of the targets being reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases among school children.
The policy has been instrumental in ensuring that smoking zones and bars are away from learning institutions. Physical activity has also been made part of the curriculum. School feeding programs should be accompanied by sensitizing on healthy eating habits and learners should be encouraged to always eat healthily. It is a reality that all young people prefer junk food that is often rich in cholesterol, thereby increasing chances of obesity and heart problems.
Secondly, there is need for more awareness on drug abuse and its role in cancer and respiratory diseases. Due to peer pressure, affordability and availability youth have fallen prey to drug and substance abuse. Preventive education would, therefore, reduce cases of cancer and respiratory diseases. Physical education should also incorporate sensitization on good health including fighting obesity and stroke. Peer education should also be encouraged to increase information flow on non-communicable diseases among children.