The National Health Week 2017 was launched under the theme “Promoting wellness for all”. In his launch statement, the President outlined the national programme of activities in a 7 point plan, known as the national endeavour to: promote proper weight and diet; encourage appropriate exercise by the populace; foster breaking of the smoking habit; controlling the abuse of alcohol; assisting people to manage stress; entrench the culture of accessing periodic medical check-ups or examinations; and ensuring a clean and green environment. “A healthy lifestyle that we are aspiring for as a nation cannot be achieved without proper infrastructure”. He said. The President urged all men, women and the youths to fully participate in the national health week activities by visiting the health service delivery points in their communities.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Janet Rogan made a statement on behalf of the United Nations in Zambia. She said that the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) aims to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” and commended government for taking a strategic shift to a more preventive rather than purely curative approach for improving health and wellbeing of the Zambian people. Ms Rogan said that there was a worrying trend of the non-communicable diseases many of which are caused by lifestyles, habits and behaviours.
“We are making a new focus on Non-communicable diseases: there is no point in saving people from HIV/AIDS only to lose them to largely preventable NCDs. You can count on us to work with government, communities and other partners in the drive to achieve better health for all Zambian people”. She said.
The National Health Week activities were conducted in all provinces and districts countrywide under the following themes:-.
- Day1: Non Communicable Diseases: Promoting healthy diets and lifestyles stressing the importance of physical activity, effect of tobacco and harmful consumption of alcohol;
- Day 2: Malaria: Moving from malaria control to elimination;
- Day 3: Environmental and Occupational Health: focus on hygiene, water and sanitation, climate change workplace and institutional wellness;
- Day 4: Adolescents and young adults and
- Day 5: HIV/TB/STI – Prevention, Treatment Care and Support.
The activities conducted include among others: information dissemination through various media including television, radio, newspapers and other interpersonal channels, provision of health services at health facilities including mobile hospitals and in the community particularly health checks for cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart health, dental and vision, diabetes and HIV test. Other activities include: nutrition and counselling, blood donation, improving environmental sanitation and promotion of hand washing, distribution of condoms, male circumcision, public information displays, sports activities, demonstration of health and emergency preparedness activities, mental health, and information on prevention of smoking and alcohol abuse as well as public health inspections in targeted places.
The function brought together government ministries and departments, United Nations Agencies Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, research and academic institutions, private sector, academic institutions, the media and the general public.
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01. Members of the public accessing health services at the mobile hospitals during the National Health Week
02. The President of the Republic of Zambia, HE, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu (centre), the First Lady, Mrs Esther Lungu (r), and the Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, MP (l) at the Launch of the National Health Week
03. United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Janet Rogan making a statement on behalf of the UN in Zambia