Caribbean Wellness Day – A Healthier Nation
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 04, 2008 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is expected to lead nationals on a Walk For Health next weekend, the major activity to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day.
Dr. Douglas, the Caribbean’s lead spokesman for Health-related matters in the quasi-cabinet of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), is expected to lead participants in the walk which leaves the Cayon Health Centre at 5:30 A.M. on Saturday 13th September.
The Health Promotion Unit, in the Ministry of Health, Social Development, Community and Gender Affairs is coordinating several activities, under the theme “Love that Body” which promotes no smoking, daily exercise, use of less salt and fat and checking of blood pressure on the radio programme “A Voice for Health,” with Nurse Christine Wattley on Sunday 7th September.
Dr. Hazel Williams-Roberts will heighten the awareness and the observance of Caribbean Wellness Day on ZIZ TV’s “Upfront” segment” on Wednesday 10th September.
Friday 12th September has been dubbed Health Screening Day. Residents can participate in several planned events, including checking of blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose and lipid, counseling on nutrition and healthy eating habits and promotion of daily exercise at fitness centres.
Prime Minister Douglas is also expected to make a statement in observance of Caribbean Wellness Day.
The inaugural Caribbean Wellness Day is a direct result of the Port-of-Spain Declaration at the CARICOM Heads of Government Summit in 2007 on Chronic Non ““ Communicable Diseases (NCDs) ““ diabetes, hypertension, obesity.
The theme of the Summit at which St Kitts and Nevis participated was “Stemming the tide of Non communicable diseases.”
Heads of Government of the Caricom agreed on several collective actions were necessary to manage and control NCDs. These included Research and Data collection; Greater emphasis on lifestyle management through formal and community educations programmes; Empowerment of individuals to change consumer behaviours; Introduction of trade regulations focusing on food labeling and banning of transfats and Promotion of policies and actions aimed at increasing physical activity in the entire population, e.g. work sites, schools and through sports.