Mauritius commemorates WHO 75th Anniversary through a 4.5 km ‘Walk for Health – Walk for Life”
This Thursday 14 September was a wonderful day for CELEBRATING HEALTH in Mauritius.
Indeed, around ten thousand men, women and children joined the “Walk for Health, Walk for Life” March organized by the Ministry of Health and Wellness with the support of WHO for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization in Moka, close to the Capital, Port Louis.
The Prime Minister who was just back from G20 on Wednesday led this 4.5 Km March with the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Minister of Education, the WHO Representative, the Head of UNDP and the Resident Coordinator Office, the Ambassadors for Japan, China, US and Bangladesh.
Behind them was a long queue of school's children, members of youth association, women association, association of the elderly persons, the Academia, NGOs, community leaders, religious bodies, public officers, the Mauritius Police Force, and more, coming from all corners of the Island.
The slogan “HEALTH FOR ALL, LA SANTE POUR TOUS” was in all mouth while health promotion messages on the prevention of healthy lifestyle and against non-communicable diseases risk factors were seen on multiple banners carried by teams among the crowd and accompanied by the music of Mauritius Police Musical Band and the Majorettes.
This fantastic commemoration gave yet another opportunity to create awareness at national level on the importance of practicing regular physical activity to address the rising burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Republic of Mauritius. While the country has made significant progress in life expectancy and key health indicators such as maternal or infant mortality rate, non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular, broncho-pulmonary and endocrinologic diseases as well as cancer are still causing excessive life lost and suffering that could be prevented by the adoption of a few lifestyle changes.
Thus the Walk aimed also at encouraging people to reduce the NCD risk factors such as unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol and live a better and healthier life. The presence of the Prime Minister, himself a physically very active person, showed his unflinching commitment in promoting the regular practice of physical activity to save people from the downfall of drugs and substance abuse and promote mental health.
At WHO we are extremely touched by the March and the expression of appreciation for the work of our organization in Mauritius.
Thank you, Mauritius, for such a mobilization for Health!