Shirley Wilkes – Nevis Health Department
February 11, 2009
Health education officials on Nevis are in the process of planning a health wellness programme for 2009 which would make persons more responsible for their health.
Health Educator in the Ministry of Health’s Health Promotions Unit Ms. Shirley Wilkes told the Department of Information recently, that the programme would get off the ground in the second quarter of 2009 and it was a part of the preventive programme advocated by Health Minister Hon. Hensley Daniel.
“The objective really is to get persons to display certain behaviours that help them to prevent certain diseases in terms of things like managing stress levels, eating right, get involved in physical activities [and] get involved in mental activities to sustain their mental wellness.
“Things like interpersonal communications whether it is in the workplace or at home. We are looking at things like parenting, getting along with children, communicating with children because we have so many things that revolve around families that we will be doing things like family education,” she said.
According to Ms. Wilkes, the Unit had in the past attempted to organise outreach programmes and projects which had become impossible to execute hence the decision for a new approach which targeted workers at their workplace.
“We are in the process to liaise with work places, supervisors, owners of workplaces where we can come in and have discussions with workers on anything that affects their health whether it is physical health, emotional health or even their mental health because health is just not the absence of pain or illness, it has to do with our whole total wellbeing,” she explained.
Ms. Wilkes noted that the programme would allow persons to not wait until a doctor had diagnosed them with a condition then try to patch it up.
“We want to have persons always remember that their health is important and so preventing certain conditions is what really matters,” she said.
The Health Educator made it clear that as part of the mandate of the Ministry of Health they had an obligation to the general public to ensure that everyone remained healthy.
She said so far the Unit had begun a walking programme which she hoped that the public would embrace because physical activity helped to ward off many health conditions and did a lot for the body.