As Kenya joined the world to mark universal health coverage day last Friday, a scientist has said that Kenyans could avoid the trap of non-communicable diseases by adopting healthy eating habits and appropriate lifestyles. Prof. Mary Abukutsa of JKUAT’s Horticulture Department said the increase in malnutrition related conditions in the country including certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and anaemia are linked to adoption of harmful dietary regimes and poor exercising.
To ameliorate dwindling health among Kenyan youth in particular, Prof. Abukutsa cautioned against over consumption of processed foods and urged instead for adoption and utilization of vegetables. She rooted for consumption of leafy African vegetables noting that they hold more nutritional value and possess medicinal value for stomach ailments.
“We are eating too much of the wrong foods, like much sugar and fats. Consequently, about thirty percent of Kenyans are obese, predisposing them to major health conditions. In ten years, the percentage of obese Kenyans will increase by forty per cent,” said Abukutsa.
The antioxidant properties of the African vegetables, Abukutsa revealed, can further cushion consumers from certain cancers and diabetes.
Abukutsa was speaking Friday at a Nakuru hotel where the country marked the Universal Health Coverage Day and Health for All Campaign, Nakuru County edition. The event which was convened by Management Sciences for Health focused on health infrastructure, human resources for health and health financing.
Senator Godliver Omondi, who is also the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UNDPK) chairperson informed the forum that the Senate has formulated a legal framework that will allow persons with disabilities access free healthcare through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).