Baramita Primary students engaged on healthy eating practices

– PAHO/WHO, MoPH collaborate to advocate healthy eating

– information streamlined via television programmes

– content relative to hinterland diet context

– video production includes students of Baramita Primary

DPI, Guyana, Friday, November 23, 2018

In an effort to ensure that children all across the country benefit from adequate nutrition in their daily diets, the Pan American/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Guyana office has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health’s Food Policy Division to inform all children of all ages of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet.

More specifically, children in hinterland areas have been targeted to learn of the nutritional benefits in their traditional diets.

In keeping with its goals, representatives of PAHO/WHO and the Ministry of Education yesterday made available several video segments, utilising local content including children and public figures from the Baramita village, for screening by the students. Also, included in the video were special guest appearances by the staff of the Food Policy Division, Young Leaders in Diabetes, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs among many others.

Two of the segments shown explained the making of a cassava bread sandwich and a new way to eat Tuma Pot. It also detailed new additions, such as green and coloured vegetables, to the foods to add an extra bit of nutrition to their diet. A mandate, well adopted by both parties involved, after being inspired by the constitutional right of children which is the right to health and nutrition.

The Food Policy Division and PAHO/WHO have recognised that the diet of hinterland students and those on the coastland are different. Additionally, it was found that if all children in Guyana are to grow equally, they should benefit from similar nutritional values in foods.

For the Baramita Primary students, they learnt, through the videos, how additions can be made to their traditional dishes and generally how they can benefit from a healthy diet.

This was followed by a brief session during which Nutritionist, Analese Roman-Benn from the Food Policy Division narrowed down the food groups to three catchy food groups to encourage the children to begin practising their use and benefits.

Analese explained that there are “go foods”: These are foods which provide energy, grow foods: which help you to grow on schedule and glow foods which help to improve their appearance. The attendees were also informed that healthy children are the wealth of a nation.

The children were enthused after they learned of how healthy eating could help them to grow and become influential persons in society. Some of them indicated that one day they would like to grow up and possibly become the President of Guyana and even the Minister of Public Health.

The programmes were manned and produced by Kaleidoscope In Defined Shapes (KIDS) TV. These programmes will be shown in the school periodically, and also at the health centre in an effort to encourage the embrace of the push for health and nutrition in hinterland regions.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence was also there to witness the screening. She briefly highlighted to the student body of the school, that in order to perform well in school, to live a long and healthy life, understanding what is a balanced diet and its importance is necessary. She also encouraged them to educate their peers and family members on healthy eating.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Delicia Haynes.