Week of activities marks Caribbean Wellness Day

GIS:-The Grand Event will be A Health Fair on Friday, at the William Peter Boulevard.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness, through Primary Health Care, will, this week observe the 10th anniversary of Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) in Saint Lucia.

Caribbean Wellness Day was mandated by the 2007 CARICOM Heads of Government Port-of-Spain Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases, as a strategy to increase public awareness on the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle practices and to encourage behavior change aimed at maintaining a state of wellness among all segments of the population, thereby reducing the incidences of non-communicable diseases that include conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancers, obesity, mental illnesses and injuries.

In 2008, CWD adopted the theme “Healthy Living a Lifetime Investment, Let’s Get Moving for Health” which to this day continues to be used, however the focus changes annually.

This year the focus is “A Brighter Future for our Youth.” Special emphasis is placed on youth aged 15 – 29 years, highlighting and engaging the youth in activities and discussions aimed at encouraging awareness and responsibility for their health by adopting a more proactive and preventative approach to health and wellness.

In this regard, a week of activities will be held from Saturday, Sep. 2, to Friday, Sep. 8.

The activities include media presentations on various health topics throughout the week; a newspaper article about Caribbean Wellness Day; nutrition-based presentations and discussions at schools by Health and Family Life Education teachers; and health screenings and discussions by community health nurses with secondary schools in each health region highlighting healthy diets, the risk factors of NCDs, and other youth related health issues.

Additionally, there will be an Address to the Nation on Sep. 3; spiritual health and youth-related sermons at churches island-wide on Saturday, Sep. 2 and Sunday, Sep. 3; and health screenings at all health facilities primarily for the youth on Tuesday, Sep. 5.

To encourage physical activity, Wednesday, Sep. 6, will be designated “Take the Stairs, No Elevator Day” for all government ministries, while on Friday, Sep. 8, the ministry will promote “Drink more Water” day at all schools and government ministries islandwide.

The Caribbean Wellness Day main event includes a health fair at the William Peter Boulevard on Friday, Sep. 8, which will showcase health education and promotion, health and wellness demonstrations, and healthy product displays.