BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
THE Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has intensified its non-communicable diseases (NCDs) awareness campaign among the youth with the launch of an arts competition in schools last week.
Lately, there has been a surge in NCDs globally, significantly affecting the young people, though according to the World Health Organisation, 80% of NCDs are preventable.
Health experts say these non-infectious diseases are mainly influenced by lifestyle and also can be inherited from an elder family member.
It is against this background that ZRCS with the support of the Danish Red Cross introduced a cocktail of strategies to tackle NCDs among the youth.
ZRCS youth development co-ordinator June Munyongani said the arts competition is in five categories namely poetry, public speaking, drama, debate and public speaking, adding that topics, questions and motions were themed along NCDs and challenged the students to consider young persons when talking about the diseases.
“The inaugural provincial competition was held under the banner Midlands Arts Festival in Gweru last week.
“Thornhill High School hosted the competition which included Cecil John Rhodes, Stanley Primary, Lundi Park Primary, Manunure High School and Thornhill High School,” Munyongani said.
“The highlight of the day for primary schools was the quiz, it demonstrated that truly the students had understood the NCD concepts, while for high schools, it was the debate which allowed us to hear the arguments on whether it is possible to live a healthy lifestyle as a young person.”
ZRCS secretary-general Elias Hwenga said: “The project’s major objective includes dissemination of information to young people on NCDs, how to prevent them and how to manage the condition.”
“The awareness campaign also encourages young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.
“Similar competitions will be held soon in Mashonaland West and Central provinces.
Follow Moses on Twitter @mmugugunyeki2