New Delhi: Legendary athlete Milkha Singh was on Friday appointed the World Health Organisation's goodwill ambassador for physical activity in the South-East Asia Region, the WHO confirmed in a statement.
"Promoting physical activity for health is an important intervention, which is expected to get a significant boost in the region with the support of octogenarian Milkha Singh, a champion for the cause," said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia.
"Whatever the age group, gender, physical ability, or socio-economic background, being physically active is an effective way to ensure a healthy and productive life.
"With support of Milkha Singh, we expect to promote and scale up physical activity in the region to be able to arrest and reverse the non-communicable diseases (NCD) epidemic," she said.
She added that an estimated 8.5 million people die due to NCDs every year in WHO South-East Asia region. Many of these deaths are premature and nearly all are lifestyle related.