#2 - JRL 7243
"NATIONAL HEALTH LEAGUE" TO FIGHT WITH RUSSIANS' BAD HABITS
MOSCOW, JUNE 27, 2003. /From a RIA Novosti correspondent/.
On Friday the Grand Kremlin Palace hosted the first convention of a new Russian organisation, "National Health League".
The ogranisation's objective is to consolidate efforts of people and the state aimed at forming Russians' healthy life style and fighting with bad habits.
The League includes about 100 public organisations connected with protection of people's health. It has 60 regional departments all over Russia.
The world famous cardiosurgeon, Head of the State Scientific Cardiovascular Surgery Centre Leo Bokeria was elected President of the new public organisation. The League's leadership has been comprised of well-known scientists, artists, sportsmen, statesmen and businessmen.
According to Bokeria, the organisation "has no political objectives, but will support development of programmes aimed at health protection". "Old health care traditions such as people's clinical examination, propagandising of a healthy life style and promotion of family authority must be restored as quickly as possible," Bokeria believes.
It is necessary to form Russians' need and responsibility for being healthy, which can only be achieved by common efforts, Russian Health Minister Yuri Shevchenko pointed out. According to the Health Ministry, as little as 12 per cent of Russians regularly go in for sport, while over 40 per cent and 3 million of Russians smoke and take drugs.
State Duma Speaker Gennadi Seleznev agreed with the Health Minister. There are over 20 laws concerning health protection in Russia, but "laws alone cannot resolve all issues of the nation's spiritual and physical revitalisation", Seleznev stated.
"Sport movements in Russia are becoming more popular and we must take advantage of it," Chairman of the State Sport Committee Vyacheslav Fetisov pointed out. "We are reviving a GTO complex and youth sport competitions, he stated. "The centre of teenagers' life must be a school gym, instead of a doorway with cigarettes and drugs. However, the current state of sport facilities and gymnasiums leave much too be desired, PT lessons are boring and pupils skip them," the Head of the State Sport Committee pointed out.