PM cautions on cannabis use, obesity, at Uhuru Torch event

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 03:37 AM Apr 03 2024
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa launches this year’s edition of the countrywide Uhuru Torch in Moshi municipality yesterday.
Photo: PMO
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa launches this year’s edition of the countrywide Uhuru Torch in Moshi municipality yesterday.

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has said that the challenge of obesity and excess weight currently becomes a national disaster with 42 percent of women at reproductive age facing iron deficiency anaemia.

Launching the 2024 Uhuru Torch race in Moshi municipality, Kilimanjaro Region, the premier said obesity fuels vast increases in the frequency of non-communicable diseases.

Obesity and excess weight are major health challenges facing many people, a rising threat as they ignite non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, heart and diabetes, he said.

He castigated the spread of a new variety of high-potency cannabis (skunk) underlining that it is mixed in cigarettes, posing an especially acute threat, for young people especially those aged 13 to 24.

Experts say the high-strength cannabis has a greater risk for earlier onset of psychosis, involving experience of delusions as a symptom of mental health challenges.

He appealed to the youth to value their lives and stop engaging in cannabis use as they ruin themselves and also affect the nation’s future.

He named regions where cannabis is prevalent as Mara, Morogoro, Arusha, Coast, Kagera and Mwanza, urging farmers to stop farming illegal crops, cautioning that stern measures will be taken when discovered.

Stunting among under-five children had reached disturbing levels, he said, calling for greater nutrition education and school feeding initiatives to control the situation.

About a dozen regions have stunting levels above the national average, including most western zone regions, the ‘food basket’ regions and the mining region of Manyara.

Stunts exceeding national average were noticed in Iringa, Njombe, Rukwa, Geita, Ruvuma, Kagera, Simiyu, Tabora, Katavi, Manyara, Mbeya and Songwe, he pointed out.

The premier reminded people to ensure they are listed to participate in the civic elections, to choose faithful, patriotic and hardworking leaders committed to deliver changes in the society.

He praised the Uhuru Torch race tradition as a catalyst for peace and unity in the country, promoting the core value of uniting Tanzanians and bringing hope beyond our borders where there was despair, dispelling hatred and uplifting dignity where there was humiliation.

The race will cover 31 regions with 195 districts, taking up 195 days with the theme “Conserve the Environment and Participate in Local Election for the Building of a Sustainable Nation,” he added.