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April 24, 2024
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NMA combines sports, medicine to reduce burden of non-communicable diseases

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By Oluwafunke Ishola

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it is combining sports and medicine as a strategy to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in the country.

Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, NMA National Games, said this during the Pre-Games Scientific Conference on Thursday in Lagos.

The conference’s theme is: ”Advancing Health and Fitness: Bridging Medicine and Sport Science”.

Olowojebutu also noted that linking medicine to sports was critical to address the increasing proportion of sedentary lifestyle-related chronic diseases and promote public health.

”We are looking at how to combine sports to manage arthritis and pain in the joints.

”It will help citizens live healthy, reduce non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, atherosclerosis, among others

”It is to instil in the populace a lifestyle that helps us to live better as individuals and as a nation,” Olowojebutu said.

He stressed the importance of paying more attention to sports science and integrating it in existing medical education programmes, saying it would empower health care providers and assist patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

According to him, the Doctors’ Games will hold from Feb. 19 to Feb. 24, at the University of Lagos Sports Complex and the Ikeja Golf Course.

He noted that the games would promote physical activity, healthy competition and also foster unity and solidarity within the medical community and the nation.

Olowojebutu said that no fewer than 1,000 doctors from seven regional zones would compete in diverse sports.

He said the sports included football, basketball, volleyball, golf, athletics, chess, scrabble, table tennis, badminton, and tennis, among others.

Similarly, Dr Israel Jeremiah, National Publicity Chairman, NMA, said that exercise was recognised as a cost-effective and globally-applicable approach for non-communicable diseases interventions.

”Government needs to realise that healthcare is not all about treating illness, but also maintaining well-being by improving fitness through sports activity,” Jeremiah said.

He appealed to the government to create a secure environment that would promote exercise as a culture to improve citizen’s health, life expectancy, and reduce diseases. (NAN)

Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Vivian Ihechu

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