Lifestyle medicine: SOLONg advises govt to establish free parks, recreation centres, gyms, others

By Hassan Zaggi

The Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg), has called on governments at all levels to establish free recreational centres in major cities in the country.

In a communique at the end of its 2nd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, held in Abuja, recently, the group reiterated that access to stadiums, parks, gyms and other facilities that promote physical activity should be free of charge.

This, it noted will encourage Nigerians to engage in outdoor activities to improve their health.

The communique was signed by the President and General Secretary of SOLONg, Dr Ifeoma Monye and Dr Mimi Osanwoyi, respectively.

It advocated that Lifestyle medicine should be the foundation of healthcare in Nigeria, urging all medical professionals in the health sector to adopt the use of therapeutic lifestyle interventions in the primary treatment of lifestyle-related diseases.

The communique called on government and relevant educational regulatory bodies to implement the inclusion of Lifestyle medicine modules to undergraduate and post-graduate study programs in health. Clinicians on the other hand, should also engage in continuing lifestyle medicine training programs.

“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is urged to address the issue of self-care among medical practitioners to reduce the threat to qualitative healthcare services from paucity of doctors due to chronic lifestyle related illnesses and premature deaths.

“There is need to understand the root causes of sudden unexpected deaths amongst Nigerian doctors. All other affiliate medical associations and societies are enjoined to do same.

“National and subnational governments along with collaborators in the community should uplift the message of Lifestyle medicine by providing and promoting avenues for physical activity.

“Government at National and State levels should sponsor and support health research in the area of Lifestyle medicine to provide statistics to prove the efficacy of Lifestyle medicine and foster lifestyle changes among Nigerians.

“Government at National and State levels should support the establishment of lifestyle medicine clinics in our hospitals to promote research and documentation of lifestyle medicine practices. This will ensure the further development of the specialty and effectively communicate the efficacy of the same.

“Heads of medical parastatals, institutions and departments should support the use of group consultations in the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases as there is evidence to prove that this improves health outcomes.

“Government at National and State levels should pay attention to the incessant pollution of our water bodies with dangerous items such as plastics to reduce environmental pollution.

“Lifestyle Medicine activities should be included into National Day programs, routine activities in government and organised private institutions/offices to provide health education and affordable means of positive healthcare practices to the public.

“Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg) should reach out to all stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health, to develop a National Diabetes Prevention Program.

“Government should invest in the development of Lifestyle Medicine as a panacea to huge healthcare costs in the contemporary society,” the communique noted.

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