This year WHO’s slogan urges us to stay in good health and live longer. Read on to see how we can win the battle against non-communicable disease. SAMVITHA RAM
April 7, 2012, will mark the 64th annual World Health Day, which commemorates the inception of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Every year, the WHO selects a theme or topic that represents a current health concern in the world. For the 2012 World Health Day, it has chosen to focus on ‘ Ageing and Health’, using the official slogan “Good health adds life to years.”
While there seems to be an awareness about the benefits of staying healthy, especially among the young urban Indians, modern day lifestyles have resulted in an alarming increase in incidence of non-communicable diseases. Ranging from less fatal ones such as injuries and diabetes, to more threatening ones such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, non communicable diseases are projected to rise from affecting 4.4 per cent of the population in 2001 to almost 7 per cen by 2025, according to WHO’s study of South Asia. Addressing this issue is going be the next major health challenge for India.
Of course, many think that good health comes easy to the youth. Their bodies are young, systems active and minds carefree. Health wasn’t a top priority for the youth, even about 10 years ago. However, with the growing consumption of ‘fast foods’ and increasingly stressful lifestyles, it is time for the youth to take responsibility for their own good health. The key to tackling the problem of non-communicable diseases is very much in our hands!
Most of us know the value of exercise in sustaining and building good health. The key is to act upon this knowledge! Make sure that you devote at least 30 minutes a day, for five days a week in any form of physical activity of your choice, be it walking, salsa dancing or even sweeping your home clean, but just do it!
There’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to health. According to WHO and other UN bodies’ recommendations, visiting a doctor at least once every 8-10 months should be a priority for everyone, old or young, tall or short. This helps not only individuals keep track of their own well being (as well as that of their families, of course), but also aids governments and health-care committees in identifying and working towards the eradication of problems that are most prevalent across the country.
There’s a reason that 75% of your body is water-based…. it’s good for you. So follow your natural instincts and grab a few glasses of water every time you have a break.Even if you’re not too thirsty, have some water anyway. And for the times you get bored, try drinking some fresh orange or lime juice; not only is it hydrating but it also has loads of vitamin C.
Eat Fresh and Green:
This is probably one that has been repeated a few too many times, but it can never be said enough! The one sure way to guarantee bad health is to stuff your body with ‘junk’ foods and carb-filled snacks. Cooking fresh meals, eating more raw veggies (trust us, some of them actually taste quite delicious!) and having a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats all seem to be easy tricks to keeping yourself free from distress and disease.
How does India fare?
- Communicable diseases, which were a big problem 20-30 years ago have been brought under control with healthcare plans and vaccination.
- The primary cause of communicable diseases in India is lack of clean water and sanitation, according to the WHO
- Per Capita total expenditure on Health in India increased from Rs.900 in 1997 to Rs.2250 in 2009
- The health care sector is growing at a fast pace; as of 2010, it was almost 8% of India’s GDP.
- Currently only 10% of Indian households are covered under health insurance.
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