|WORLD HEALTH DAY COMMEMORATIONS|
Hon.Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai chats with Gogo Zulu a senior citizen from Zvishavane on his arrival at the World Health Day commemorations at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane.
ZIMBABWE joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Health Day, a day which falls to be the most important to World Health Organisation as a whole. This year’s commemorations were held in the mining town of Zvishavaneunder the theme “Aging and Health, “Good Health Adds Life to Years.”focusing on health issues that mainly affect the aged.
Speaking at the commemorations the guest of honour, Honorable Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said World Health Day offered an opportunity to honour the Senior Citizens for the sterling work they have done in raising everyone.
“We owe our lives to these old men and women who of course will never appreciate that we are now grandfathers and grandmothers in our own right.Our old people are a fountain of wisdom in directing and guiding us through life challenges. They are reservoirs of unparalleled experience. We treasure them. We salute them,”Honorable Prime Minister said.
Honorable Prime Minister encouraged promotion of healthy life styles among old people and this includes eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, avoiding use of tobacco, practicing safer sex, and avoiding alcohol and substance abuse.
“Older persons are important to any society and nation but their contribution can only be fully realized if they maintain their health and if barriers that prevent their engagement in family and community life are broken down.
I know that old persons are often worried about our own health even if they are not feeling well themselves. A few months ago, I was using crutches to walk after spraining my leg, but my mother was more worried about my condition than her own indisposition.
So we must strive to assist them in accessing health care as families, communities and as a government,” He said.Older persons are important to any society and nation but their contribution can only be fully realized if they maintain their health and if barriers that prevent their engagement in family and community life are broken down.
Also present at the commemorations was World Health Organization country representative, DrCustodiaMandlate,clarified that elderly people contributes to the development of countries if they are healthy.
“The elderly in Africa have always been revered as a source of wisdom and guardians of beneficial cultural practices, family unity and identity. They continue to play a pivotal role in the care and support of children. In return, the young and adults take care of the elderly as part of the African extended family,”DrMandlhate said.
DrMandlhate stressed that reciprocal relationship of care and support between the elderly and young should be promoted as a key component of achieving healthy ageing. She said this was one of the objectives of the commemoration’s theme, to remind everyone that the good relationship between the young people and elderly is fundamental.
The occasion was graced byGogo Zulu, senior citizen who gave her testimony on how she is managing being old .Shegave advice on how to keep active and healthy ageing and above all she said she had lived all this long because of her great fear of the Lord which ended up being a word of advice to the young generation.
Generally members of the public were advised on promoting healthy lifestyles across population groups, such as, healthy diet, regular exercise, non use of tobacco and refraining from harmful use of alcohol.
World Health Day is normally commemorated on the 7th Aprilworldwide and holding it in Zvishavane was indeed commended since it is a place where a good number of Senior Citizens live.