Kenya said on Monday it will host a family wellness festival in early February to promote healthy lifestyles and counter the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

The one-day festival, organized by Nairobi-based Amref Health Africa and real estate developers and scheduled to open in Tatu City on Feb. 8, aims to rally communities to embrace wellness as a means to build strong defenses against lifestyle diseases.

“We are committed to change the narrative on non-communicable diseases in Kenya through low-cost but high-impact investments in prevention through proper family diets, physical activity and regular wellness screening,” said Amref Health Africa Kenya Country Director Meshack Ndirangu.

Health advocacy groups will partner with the central government and industry to organize annual wellness festivals in Kenyan cities and towns where the burden of non-communicable diseases is higher, he said.

Kenya is grappling with a rising burden of non-communicable diseases like cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments linked to a sedentary lifestyle amid rapid urbanization.

The inaugural wellness festival, which will include cycling, family-run, yoga, live cooking demonstrations, entertainment and medical checkups, is expected to raise the visibility of the dangers posed by lifestyle diseases to policymakers and investors.

Jacqueline Maigua, head of urban management at Tatu City, said that industry is keen to invest in interventions that promote wellness at household and community levels.

“We are committed to improved health and wellness of communities in Kenya and across Africa through investments in green spaces that encourage cycling and walking,” she said.

Public-private partnerships are key to scaling up investment in wellness programs in households and public institutions, Maigua said. Enditem

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