Ministry of Health – Mrs. Nicole Slack-Liburd
September 01, 2009
Nevis will join the rest of the Caribbean in observance of Caribbean Wellness Day on September 13th under the theme “Love That Body” but the island’s health officials plan to celebrate wellness leading to and after the event.
Health Planner in the Ministry of Health Mrs. Nicole Slack-Liburd told the Department of Information in a recent interview, that a number of fringe activities will punctuate the month-long observance. It would be done in partnership with the private and public sectors, to emphasise the importance of wellness.
Mrs. Liburd noted that Nevis had not escaped the scourge of non communicable diseases and the health statistics had indicated that diabetes was a leading cause of death on the island.
“Nevis has not escaped the scourge of non communicable diseases we have quite a high prevalence of diabetics here on Nevis.
“In 2008 we recorded 497 persons on the Diabetic Register and 433 for hypertension. In that same year, diabetes was the leading cause of death with 13 people dying followed by 11 who died of strokes,” she said.
The Health Official explained it was for that reason the Ministry of Health had taken the decision to promote health and wellness throughout the month of September and a multi stakeholder committee had been appointed to set out the activities.
“We have a series of parish walks that will take place during the month of September, the first on September 5th and three more on September 12th which is the actual celebration of Caribbean Wellness Day. On September 11th we also have some major activities and will include a Wellness Fair on Thursday September 10th at the Memorial Square from 9am to 2pm.
“At this Fair persons can come and get screened for diabetes and hypertension. We will also be doing some foot care”¦ so you can come and have your feet examined wheether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not. We will also be doing HIV Aids testing on that day and you can get your results on the next day,” she said.
Another highlight of the Fair would deal with health and road safety in partnership with the St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
“There has been some recent legislation on safety belts and car seats for kids and the Police will be doing some demonstrations on car seat safety and how to install your seatbelt properly,” she said.
Also available will be weight and height measurements, dietary counselling, sale of fruits and vegetables and breast care education by the awareness group Pink Lily Foundation.
September 11th is slated for a Wellness March from the Cultural Centre to Grove Park. The event is scheduled to commence at 9am and would conclude with demonstrations of physical activity and a speech by the Minister of Health Hon. Hensley Daniel.
Other activities include Pap smear and cholesterol testing and physical activity for senior citizens at the Flambouyant Nursing Home.
Mrs. Slack-Liburd also noted that the Ministry had encouraged members of the public and private sector to join in the activities and urged them to take their own initiatives with regard to health.
Caribbean Wellness Day which is in its second year was introduced by the CARICOM Heads two years ago, as one of the Community’s efforts to fight against non communicable diseases in the region.