How NCDs affect people’s lives, causing deaths

ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 74 per cent of all deaths globally.

Each year, 17 million people die from a NCD before age of 70 while 86 per cent of the premature deaths occur in low and middle income countries.

The main types of NCD are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

These four groups of diseases account for over 80 per cent of all premature NCD deaths. Of all NCD deaths, 77 per cent are in low- and middle-income countries.

Tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from an NCD.

However, most NCDs are preventable, with poor health largely driven by five main modifiable risk factors including tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.

Apart from health experts stressing the issue of conducting regular exercise to deal with NCDs, some people in society have dedicated their lives to educating other people about a balanced diet and encouraging regular exercise.

Among those people include the former Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) Sports News Anchor and Reporter, Ms Angella Msangi for whom physical exercise is more than health.

An inappropriate appearance on TV due to overweight is one of the reasons that made Ms Angela to change her lifestyle by start eating a balanced diet and involves conducting regular exercise.

“I never thought there would be a day when I would be able to hate myself that much due to weight gain until I reached the time when every cloth I wore failed to fit… however, I also felt that I had inappropriate appearance on television at the time when I was a News Anchor at TBC1,” she says

According to her, before changing her lifestyle, she never thought that she would be able to gain more than 100 kilos and look older than her age.

Her journey towards the movement of weight loss was not simple as she face ups and down when she started but she didn’t quit.

Despite being a public servant and a mother of a family, the issue of performing regular exercise is not a problem for her as she allocates her extra time to exercise at home.

“I usually wake up early in the morning to perform the physical exercises for at least 50 minutes at home before going to work …once fail to do so in the morning, I always use my extra time after working hours,” she says

Towards the celebrations of International Women’s Day (March 8), let me acknowledge the contribution of this woman who dedicated her life to fight against NCDs by encouraging regular exercise in society through various social media platforms.

According to Ms Msangi , so far more than 100 people have benefited from the training she provides through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook accounts.

In commemorating this Day, there has been a culture of recognising the contributions of various women in society who have dared to do different things which touch society in one way or another.

Ms Msangi is among the few women in Tanzania who devoted her life to inspire society in eating a balanced diet and performing regular exercise.

In response to NCDs, Ms Angela takes this commemorating platform to encourage all women in the country particularly in public and private institutions to allocate their extra time to conduct physical exercise.

“If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or meet specific fitness goals, you need to exercise at least 30 minutes every day…The more hours you sit each day, the higher the risk of NCDs,” she underlines

Several studies have confirmed that the risk of lung, colon and breast cancers can be greatly reduced in regularly active people. In fact, a 2007 study found that exercise is an important step to preventing breast cancer because higher levels of estrogen (which is stored in fat) increase your risk.

“Women who exercise heavily are, in general, older at the time of the[ir] first period, and tend to have irregular periods and a shortened estrogen-producing phase,” the American Association for Cancer Research reports.

“Postmenopausal women who are physically active have also been shown to have lower levels of estrogen. you don’t have to go to the gym, you can do physical exercise at home by following various guidelines given by various people on social media as most of us we are close to the smart devices ,” she underlines.

Adding; “It is very sad to see that many people in our society have diseases that they could have avoided, especially NCDs,”

Ms Msangi has a huge dream of liberating society against NCDs since she intends to open a large training centre in future which will involve nutritionists to provide education to the public.

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