Uganda Government mandates weekly exercise for MDAs

This directive comes after the release of the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) report

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In response to the escalating prevalence of lifestyle diseases, the Uganda government has mandated ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to conduct weekly physical-exercise sessions for their employees.

This directive comes after the release of the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) report. The report revealed a significant increase in obesity rates from 17 to 26 per cent over the past 17 years.

Hence, the directive states that the MDAs must allocate two hours weekly for physical exercise to promote staff health and keep diseases at bay.

The UDHS report, released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics on 7 March, highlights the concerning trend of increasing overweight or obesity rates since 2006, now standing at 26 per cent in 2022. This condition is associated with heightened risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which not only cause significant suffering and loss of life but also pose substantial financial burdens.

Notably, the report reveals a significant discrepancy in excessive weight gain or obesity prevalence between women from the wealthiest households (45 per cent) and those from the poorest households (8 per cent).

Moreover, the report highlights that 15 per cent of men are thin, while 11 per cent are overweight or obese, with higher rates among those with more than secondary education and those from wealthier households.

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