LUSAKA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday launched the 2018 National Health Week with a call to every citizen to take personal responsibility for their health.
Held under the theme "Health for all, leaving no one behind," the National Health Week runs from May 7 to 14.
Speaking during the launch held at an ultra-modern sports center, the Olympic Youth Development Center, in Lusaka, the country's capital, the Zambian leader said it was unfortunate that the country was witnessing a rise in both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
"As we commemorate the 2018 National Health Week, let us therefore analyze and resolve to address the root causes of ill-health as well as examine and uphold factors that contribute to good health and well-being," he said.
The Zambian leader said the increasing incidences of non-communicable diseases were a source of concern as it was not only costly to treat such diseases but was robbing the country of the much needed human resource capital at a tender age.
According to him, risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, chronic respiratory and cancers were well known and largely preventable.
He said some of the diseases could be prevented through the adoption of health lifestyles and urged citizens to take personal responsibilities for their health.
The government, he said, was committed to ensuring that it provides a conducive environment to help people achieve healthier life styles, adding that the holding of the health week was meant to raise awareness.
The National Health Week, he said, seeks to provide a multi-sectoral platform and opportunity to utilize multisectoral health promotion approaches that catalyze national action, without leaving anyone behind.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya urged citizens to remember that health was their greatest wealth, adding that a healthy nation was a wealthy nation.
He advised citizens not to relent in seeking and getting medical examinations as treatment was free in public health institutions.
The Zambian leader, who was accompanied by First Lady Esther, took part in various exercises as well as toured some stands where exhibitions of various products and services to promote the well-being of citizens were on display.
During the week, health education and various health activities will be conducted while citizens have been encouraged to promote wellness and prevent common ailments afflicting them.
Citizens are also being encouraged to health facilities for free screening for hypertension, diabetes, eye conditions, ear conditions, cancers, BP, TB and malaria.