WINDHOEK: Members of Parliament (MP) need a lifestyle change, as 46.9 per cent of the legislators are overweight, obese or extremely obese, the Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi said in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Kamwi made this statement following the release of results of the Workplace Wellness Service Day, which was conducted by First National Bank (FNB) in March 2012 on MPs and parliament staff.
“The results found that 43.8 per cent of the members have hypertension, 31.3 have high cholesterol, 18.8 suffer from diabetes and 46.9 were found to be overweight, obese or extremely obese,” Kamwi said, reporting back on the results of the wellness exercise.
The health minister explained that all these ailments are called non-communicable diseases, adding that they are on the increase and are fast becoming a major burden on the health sector.
Kamwi informed his colleagues that non-communicable diseases are lifestyle diseases, further stating that MPs must implement lifestyle changes, especially those who indulge in unhealthy habits.
“You will appreciate that we have work to do in the health sector, but individually there is much to be done. The fact of the matter is that what we see here in parliament is only a tip of the iceberg. Imagine what is out there in parastatals, the private sector and the country at large,” he said.
The health minister told the legislative house that there is a need for strong prevention measures for people who have not yet adopted a healthier way of living, including MPs.
“This is the beginning of a non-communicable disease tsunami that will hit Namibia in 10 to 20 years, unless we invest now in prevention and health promotion,” Kamwi said.