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MOH Asks KCCA to Construct Walking, Running Lanes

The health ministry wants KCCA to provide walking and running lanes on Kampala's roads
The chief walker,President Yoweri Museveni leads the walking delegation at the National Day for Physical Activity
The Ministry of Health has asked Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA to provide walking and running lanes. 

The call was made on Sunday during the second National Day for physical activity at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. President Yoweri Museveni was the guest of honour.

According to the health ministry, the lack of properly designated walking and jogging pavements puts many Ugandans at risk as they try to live healthy lives working out.

Sarah Opendi, the Minister of State for General Duties says that walking lanes are needed to provide safety for people who carry out physical activity on the roads.

"As roads are being designed, consideration needs to be made to make sure that everyone trying to be healthy is safe on our roads."

According to Uganda Police, more than 73,000 pedestrians are involved in road accidents annually.

In addition to physical activity, the WHO representative, Dr Yonas Woldermariam says that people need to reduce on the amount of sugar that they consume.

"Between our consumption of sugar and lack of exercise, many people are living very unhealthy lives and dying. But to do this, we need a conducive environment to conduct exercise. The way we construct our cities needs to be made more appropriate to encourage people to exercise and be safe without accidents."

According to WHO, it is estimated that at least 33 percent of Ugandans are estimated to die due to non-communicable disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and accidents.

Dr Jackson Orem, the Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute says more Ugandans need to become physically active to reduce the risks of acquiring cancer.

"Physical activity reduces the risk of getting cancer. In health, we want evidence-based medicine and for that matter, you have to have a dose of what are prescribed. It's suggested if you do moderate physical activity five times a day, you reduce the risks of getting cancer by 47 percent."

Dr John Omagino, the Executive Director of the Uganda Heart Institute says that more Ugandans need to be engaged in physical activity.

"Physical activity builds all the organs of the body. If you don't balance your mouth, the result is abnormal body growth which leads to disease.  A quarter of our adult population is overweight and is at risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease."

Dr Omagino adds that everybody should walk at least 1,000 steps a day. The doctor also urges all organisations to remove parking spaces for vehicles so that people walk to work instead of driving. 

KCCA is currently constructing Namirembe Road as a pilot to introduce non-motorized transport in the country. An entire lane of the road will be dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the health ministry, 75  percent of all Ugandans are now estimated to be physically active since the launch of the national physical activity day last year.