The Ministry of Health is keen on continuously promoting healthy living by all Guyanese in every way possible and in this regard the Ministry along with its stakeholders will be celebrating Caribbean Wellness Day 2012 through a number of activities.
Manager of the Ministerial Secretariat, Roubinder Rambarran noted that this year’s theme is “Love that Body; Building the Foundation for Healthy Lifestyles” and will commence on September 8. While the activity is usually a one day event the Ministry will be hosting several activities over a one week period, September 16 – 21, to continuously promote healthy living.
The first activity is a fitness walk commencing at 06:00hrs from the Caricom Secretariat, Liliendaal, proceeding West along the Railway Embankment into David Street, Kitty, South into Vlissingen Road, West into Thomas Road and ending at the National Park Tarmac. At the National Park there will be an aerobics session followed by remarks by the Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran and a representative from Caricom.
The one-week celebrations will include a seminar on healthy living at the National Library, a CME session, TV programmes, activities in the Administrative Regions and wellness fair targeting 25-30 gyms and business organisations. Secondary schools in Georgetown will also be invited to participate in the activity.
Senior Project Officer – Health Sector Development CARICOM, Renee Franklin Peroune noted that focus is being placed on children so as to instill healthy habits early thereby preventing the impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The origin of Caribbean Wellness Day stems from decisions taken when CARICOM Heads of Government expressed concern about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, obesity and cancer. The Heads met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 15 September 2007 where they designed a plan of action to stop the epidemic of NCDs.
Caribbean Wellness Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in September, and showcases national and community level activities to promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop good health practices.
The main focus of the campaign is to encourage people to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, check and control their blood pressure and quit smoking.