A physically, mentally healthy population a priority of Gov’t – Dr Anthony
Government remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring a healthy population, through investments and access to services and information that encourage healthier lifestyles.
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, who was speaking at the opening of a one-day wellness market on Sunday, highlighted the importance of physical activity, nutrition and mental well-being.
The event was held at the building which previously housed the Fitness Paradise Gym, Lance Gibbs Street, Georgetown.
Minister Anthony said persons often overlook the importance of being active and partaking in traditional diets.
“We were eating a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits and fish, and we have gone to one where we are now consuming a lot of fast foods, which include a lot of trans fats. And we have stopped using water and things that are healthy and consuming a lot of sugary beverages,” he noted.
Minister Anthony related that this new lifestyle has contributed to persons becoming overweight and putting themselves at risk of diseases.
He explained that there are several cases of young people showing signs of heart conditions and other chronic non-communicable diseases.
In Guyana, it is estimated that about 60,000 persons are diabetic, with only a small percentage being aware of their health status.
The Health Minister said many of these chronic diseases can be prevented if Guyanese embrace a healthy lifestyle.
“We need more people to advocate for this. It’s not just the ministry talking about it or one or two persons talking about it. We need a movement. We need a lot of people to be talking about getting well, doing the right things, eating the right things, exercising…”Dr Anthony emphasised.
He commended the organisers for the ‘bold’ move, pointing out that the undertaking will bring awareness to the Guyanese populace.
“And once we can multiply this across different parts of the country, I think we will get more and more people involved in fitness, health, and to make sure that they stay well, and not just well, but that they live for a very long time. Because once you adopt the right techniques, we see longevity in people,”he added.
The exercise saw some 20 exhibitors displaying products that promote healthier lifestyles through various methods.
The health event demonstrates the importance to nourish and focus on all eight dimensions of health: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, and social.
According to former president of the Guyana Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (GABBFF), Donald Sinclair, the various aspects of wellness are connected and impact each other.
The wellness market was conceptualised by a team from the Fitness Paradise Gym and former members of the GABBFF.