IOC, WHO Team Up To Improve Health Through Sports

By Ibrahim Taiwo, The Nigerian Voice Sports
Click for Full Image Size
Listen to article

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday signed an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to work together to promote health through sport and physical activity, Thenigerianvoice is reporting.

“I am pleased to formalize this longstanding partnership with the International Olympic Committee,” said Dr. Tedros Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“WHO works not only to respond to disease but also to help people realize their healthiest lives and this partnership will do exactly that. Physical activity is one of the keys to good health and well-being.”

The agreement has a special focus on preventing NCDs through sport, coupled with the fact that Covid19 is affecting people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Thus the collaboration is timely.

Physical activity helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer).

Other areas of collaboration include working with host countries to ensure the health of athletes, supporters and workers at the games as well as addressing NCD risk factors, including water quality and air pollution.

The two organizations also intend to work intandem so as to promote grassroots and community sports programmes that have a further reach within the general public, especially among girls, older people and people living with disability who may find it hard to keep active and healthy.

IOC President, Thomas Bach said “Over the last few months in the current crisis, we have all seen how important sport and physical activity are for physical and mental health. Sport can save lives,”

“The IOC calls on the governments of the world to include sport in their post-crisis support programmes because of the important role of sport in the prevention of NCDs, but also of communicable diseases.”

The new partnership will bring together the sports and health sectors at international, regional and national levels to reach the global goal of increasing physical activity by 15 per cent, as set out in the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.