Friday, 28 February 2014

African Union commemorates healthy lifestyles day with encouragement, an exhibition and healthy treats for all 

Addis Ababa, 28 February 2014: A healthy lifestyle is about taking responsibility for one’s decisions and making smart healthy choices for today and for the future. This was the message that came out of the 6thAfrica Healthy Lifestyle day commemorations held today at the African Union headquarters under the theme “health for all through food security”. The celebrations were organised by the AU Medical Services Directorate in collaboration with the Departments of Social Affairs (DSA), and Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) and other stakeholders.

This day was adopted in the framework of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategy on control of non-communicable diseases. The event brought together officials and staff of the AU Commission, staff of African Union embassies in Addis Ababa as well as their family members, other international agencies, students and the broader African community.

The meeting was addressed by Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture and Mr. Olawale I. Maiyegun, Director of Social Affairs. “Food security is said to exist when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. This includes both physical and economic access to food that meets people's dietary needs as well as their food preferences”, said Commissioner Rhoda Peace.

While addressing the meeting, Mr Olawale Maiyegun remarked, “Healthy lifestyle is about taking responsibility for your decisions and making smart healthy choices for today and for the future, and every day should be a healthy lifestyle day, not only the last week of February”.

The day focused on empowering, encouraging and increasing the participation of clients to improve in their nutrition and food safety practices, by improving food processing and making healthier choices, while increasing their physical activity rates as well their consciousness for screening for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Delegates to the Healthy Lifestyles Day also went on a tour of an exhibition titled, “Taste of Africa,” where they tasted healthy African foods from different countries such as Lesotho, Seychelles, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Angola, Uganda and Nigeria. They then proceeded to an open air aerobics and taekwondo session that was performed by nurses and AUC staff members to promote exercise for healthy lifestyles. The exhibition was opened by Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.