Unhealthy lifestyles - Mauritian Health and Quality of Life Minister Lormus Bundhoo has said the 21st century is associated with the globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles, rapid unplanned urbanisation, and the ageing of populations - all of which have not spared Mauritius.
Speaking Wednesday at the opening of a new community health centre at Pailles, near the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, the minister said these trends affect every country.
'One of the consequences is the rise, everywhere, of chronic diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and mental disorders,' Bundhoo said.
He said long considered the companions of affluent societies, chronic diseases now impose their greatest burden on low- and middle-income countries.
Quoting from a survey on non-communicable diseases done in 2009, the Minister said the prevalence of diabetes in the island has reached 23.6%, with almost 1 in 2 Mauritians aged between 25 to 74 years either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
More, 37.9% of people, have high blood pressure; 50.9% are either overweight or obese – 46% of which are men and 55.6 % are women; Only 16.5% of Mauritians aged between 24 to 74 years do physical exercises -10.9% being women and 23.2% men and the prevalence of current smoking is 21.7% - 3.7% in women and 40.3% in men.
'It is unfortunate that risk factors such as unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, smoking and the harmful use of alcohol are widespread and have not even spared the teenage population, as evidenced by the various surveys,' the minister observed.
He said the opening of the community health centre would strengthen the primary health care network which, at present, consists of one Community Hospital, three Medi-clinics, 22 Area Health Centres and 117 Community Health Centres.
PANA reports that the centre's services will include treatment of common illnesses and injuries, care of diabetes and other chronic illnesses, maternal and child health services, family planning services and health education.