Mombasa County head of nutrition Mrs. Esha Bakari has decried the rise in lifestyle diseases in the coastal city which she termed as a ‘ticking time bomb’.
She said unhealthy lifestyles were responsible for the growing cases of hypertension and high cholesterol levels.
She said non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer were on the increase among youth and adults.
According to the chief nutritionist, poor eating habits and inactivity among the youth and adults was the main cause of obesity and the consequent upsurge of lifestyle diseases.
Speaking at a health forum, Mrs. Bakari said health, well-being advice and blood pressure checks were being conducted to all and sundry for free by County government health workers.
Mrs. Bakari said changes to lifestyles such as taking exercise and having a healthy diet could easily make a positive difference.
She said obesity, hypertension and diabetes were ‘potent’ risk factors for the development of kidney disease.
She noted that awareness of the risk of obesity and healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and exercise could help in preventing obesity and kidney diseases.
At the same time, she said Mombasa County is facing a shortage of nutritionists in its health facilities.
Mrs. Bakari said they had 14 nutritionists serving six sub-counties instead of the desired 78.
She said the shortage had forced the County government to start training nurses and community health workers to ease the burden.
Ms. Matina Adega of Pwani Lishe Bora, a local NGO said they had embarked on nutrition advocacy and communication programmes to improve the nutrition of women in child bearing age.
They have also been training mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding in the County to build the immunity of their children, she added.
Ms. Adega said Pwani Lishe Bora was distributing iron, and folic acid supplements to 300, 000 pregnant women to check anemia.
She noted that pregnant women required additional iron and folic acid to meet their own nutritional needs as well as those of the developing fetus.
Source: Kenya News Agency