By Isaac Mugera and Doreen Nasasira – 

The Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, has urged all Ugandans to embrace the culture of body exercising as a sure remedy to the highly escalating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like Diabetes, Heart Attacks, Obesity, and Cancer, etc.

Rugunda said this during the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)’s Annual Pre-Independence Sports Gala on Friday 5th October 2018 at Kiwatule Recreation Centre in Kampala.

The Head of the OPM Human Resources Division, Ms. Annet Musinguzi welcoming the Prime Minister to the event. Looking on is the Undersecretary for Refugees and Disaster, Mr. Kayima Godfrey and the Under Secretary for the Executive Office, Mr. James Collins Ddombo

This OPM Pre-Independence Sports Gala was introduced in 2017, as an annual event ahead of the National Independence Day celebrations. The theme for this year’s Sports Gala is “Ensuring a Healthy Workforce for High Productivity and Effective Service Delivery”. Organized by the OPM’s Human Resources Division, the event was fully packaged with various sports activities including Football, Volley ball, Athletics, Netball, Wood-ball, and several other in-door games.

Prime Minister Rugunda, also a Professional Medical Doctor, says that the event is very vital for OPM Staff because it is a sure vaccine to the NCDs which are claiming lives of Ugandans at an alarming rate. He added that regular body exercising is one of the key interventions that will help Ugandans fight the increasing threat of NCDs.

NCDs are those diseases that do not arise from infectious agents and cannot be spread from person to person, but are mostly lifestyle related and/or genetic disorders. They include illnesses/ailments like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancer. And according to the Health Ministry, up to 40% of the deaths in Uganda today are related to NCDs.

Prime Minister Rugunda also mentioned that government takes this matter seriously which is the main reason he had to table the same before the World leaders in New York, when he represented H.E The President of Uganda, at the UN General Assembly late last month.

Rugunda also cited the example of H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who walked over 10 Kilometers to commemorate the National Day of Physical Fitness on 8th July 2018 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

Prime Minister Rugunda commended the OPM Human Resources Division for organizing this annual sports event which will ensure that OPM staff are physically fit and healthy to deliver quality services to the people of Uganda.

The event involved inter-departmental competitions in which the Finance & Administration Department emerged winner, scooping 85 points, with a prestigious trophy. Prime Minister Rugunda handed over the trophy to the Captains of the F&A teams, Mr. Derrick Mugabe and Ms. Hamidah

Prime Minister Rugunda was an active participant in the Sports activities and emerged the winner in the day’s Chess competitions.

Prime Minister Rugunda plays Chess with a final OPM staff participant. PM Rugunda emerged winner in the day’s chess competitions

The Head of Human Resources at OPM, Ms. Annet Musinguzi thanked all members of the OPM family for turning up and actively participating in the sports activities. She also thanked the Rt. Hon Prime Minister and the OPM Senior Management for the moral and financial support, as well as honoring the invitations to the event and actively participating in the day’s activities. She encouraged all staff of OPM to get involved in the activities whenever they are called upon to participate.

Prime Minister hands over trophy to the winning team