Over 7000 residents from various towns within the Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly, Sunday morning, joined Mr. Kingsley Agyemang, owner and founder of the Kingsley Keep Fit Club to ‘walk for health.’
The walk was to sensitize the residents on the need to observe healthy lifestyles and also raise support for calls made by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on obesity.
The walk covered a total of around 6.5 km which was followed by an aerobic activity.
Held at Kyebi, the hometown of President Akufo-Addo, Mr Agyemang said it was to show commitment to the recent concerns raised by him (President) on obesity and “we believe our gathering here is to tell Mr. President that we have heard his call and we are ready to abide by it.”
It can be recalled that during the State of the Nation Address last week, President Akufo-Addo expressed concern about the poor eating habits and lack of exercise among citizens which is resulting in an increase in the rate of obesity in the country.
President noted that although his government is tackling obesity to reduce the rate of non-communicable related death, the lifestyle of Ghanaians is still a major problem.
“Too many of us are overweight and obesity is an increasing problem even among young people. The food we eat, the mode of cooking and the lack of exercise all now have their great impression on our health,” he stated.
In December last year, the first ever stakeholder engagement on multi-level determinants of obesity in Ghana was held with Mr Agyemang as the Lead Researcher.
His research is being supervised by Professors Subhash Pokhrel, Christina Victor and Associate Professor Nana Kwame Anokye all of the Brunel University.
The workshop, the first of its kind to use a multi-sectoral approach, was to help understand how policymaking on obesity in Ghana happens and who the key actors are.
Addressing the mammoth gathering, Mr Agyemang said although the issues raised by the President is being tackled, living a healthy Lifestyle start with each and every one.
“The call made by His Excellency is a very important one and we must take it serious. I believe as an individual who people look up to, it will not be out of place to ensure that I also do my bit to drum home this message,” he said.
Being obese,Mr. Agyemang held, comes with all sorts of risks including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, lower back pain among others.
He was optimistic that by the close of the year, the Kingsley Keep Fit Club will have over 500,000 members.
Touting some of the life changing programmes undertaken by the Keep Fit Club, Mr Agyemang said over 5000 people were registered with the Health Insurance Scheme for free last year December. “I believe in having a healthy nation with healthy people,” he said.
Call for support
He assured the people that there were a lot of goodies in stock for them. Explaining why he had to back out at the last minute in the Abuakwa South parliamentary primaries, Mr Agyemang said “ the interest of the party was paramount to that of an individual and I am because you are.”
“I call on all of us here to fully throw our support behind Honourable Samuel Atta Akyea who will be leading our great party for this constituency in the next elections,” he said to a thunderous applause.
Using the opportunity to call for peace in the upcoming December 2020 elections, Mr Agyemang asked the people to fully partake in the voters registration to be undertaken by the Electoral Commission on April 25 this year.
“Let us all go out there and write our names because without it we will not be able to vote come December 7 2020. It is a very important exercise and as good citizens we cannot afford to not take part,” he said.
Some of the participants said it was a very good programme which must be sustained and held often.
Madam Gladys Ankomah, a 65 year old native of Akoosi, said she was very happy with the initiative and had some advice for Ghanaians.
“Of late our lifestyle is not the best to say the least. And I fully support this initiative by Mr Agyemang. He is leading by example,” she said.
Another native of Asiakwa, Joana Asabea, a petty trader, said she couldn’t have afforded to miss it, describing the exercise as very important.