Samoa is the first country in the world to celebrate International Yoga Day

Samoa became the first country in the world to celebrate this day in 2023.

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa made the following statement in her speech for the International Yoga Day at the Matagialalua Friendship Park, today.

Mata’afa said “These international days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.”

“We all are aware that non-communicable diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancers account for 74% of all deaths globally and 80% of all premature NCD deaths. Samoa is not an exception.”

The Samoan PM also said that they are conscious about the increasing number of young people needing urgent overseas treatment for non-communicable diseases.

“Government is also concerned about the affordability of the overseas treatment for NCDs. One side, we are exploring ways to reduce the cost of overseas treatment for non-communicable diseases, at the same time we are also making efforts to make people of Samoa healthier by adopting better lifestyles and dietary habits.”

World Health Organization has also urged all its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

“I feel Yoga is an invaluable gift to the entire world family from India’s ancient tradition. This is like a combo package to address our physical, mental and emotional health needs. The UN resolution on International Yoga Day highlights the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.”

“The best part of Yoga is that it can be practiced by all ages, all fitness levels and doesn’t need any equipment other than just a simple mat. I am thankful to the Indian community in Samoa for taking this initiative and spreading the awareness about Yoga in Samoa,” Mata’afa said.