Countries in the SADC region including Zimbabwe are now recognising the health, development and socio-economic impact of non-communicable diseases.
This has led to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare developing a campaign that will involve the promotion of healthy eating habits.
This was borne out of an agreement made by health ministers from the SADC region when they met in Seychelles in April 2008 and made a commitment that member states will observe SADC healthy lifestyles on the last Friday of February every year.
This year, Zimbabwe failed to commemorate the day but belated commemorations were held this Wednesday.
Addressing people who converged at Harare Gardens to commemorate SADC healthy lifestyles Day, Dr Portia Manangazira from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare encouraged people to adopt healthy eating habits.
â€œOn communicable diseases, take a long time before the signs and symptoms of the condition manifest, and as a result many people do not take action to prevent the disease or seek medical services, â€ said Dr Manangazira.
A representative from the World Health Organisation, Ms Wendy Julias said WHO will continue to support efforts by the Zimbabwean government to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases through and effective prevention and control programme.
To commemorate the day, there was free screening of blood sugar levels, obesity and alcohol consumption at Harare Gardens, Mabvuku, St Maryâ€™s, Mufakose, Glen-view polyclinics and Parirenyatwa hospital. The theme for the commemorations is â€˜walking for a healthy heartâ€™.Â