CWD 2017 targets Child and Adolescent health
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Caribbean Wellness Day 2017 was observed with a health fair at the Uitvlugt Community Centre Ground on the West Coast of Demerara, hosted by the Ministry of Public Health, several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other support agencies.
This mandate which targets Guyana’s youths resulted from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) statistics indicate that more than 30% of Caribbean adolescents are overweight or obese. Data shows that youths are at risk of developing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
President of the Guyana Diabetic Association, Glynis Beaton urged residents present to invest in the health of their children. “Investing in your children’s health does not mean a loan from the bank or any big job. It simply means this. Every time you pick up something for your child to eat be it snack be it drink read the label.” she said.
The Public Health Ministry’s goal to stop and reverse obesity in young people by 2025, is one CARPHA and Regional and international partners are all working on collaboratively. As a result, certain measures will be adopted.
These measures include mandatory nutritional labelling to empower consumers, eradicating unhealthy foods in schools while promoting the consumption of local fruits and vegetables, ensuring that Caribbean youth live and learn and play in environments that are supportive of physical activity and healthy eating.
Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, listed the chronic diseases classified as NCDs and outlined the risk factors causing these diseases. The CMO reminded that diabetes, cancers, lung diseases and heart diseases can be prevented.
Healthy eating, less use of alcohol, elimination of tobacco use and increased physical exercise are the most effective ways of reducing chances of contracting an NCD. Dr. Persaud stressed the need for more physical activities among residents of the community, including in schools and among other groups.
Also promoting the message of healthy eating were members of the Merundoi Street Theatre. The group performed a dramatic piece empahsising the effects of the chronic non-communicable diseases on the human body, and ways they can be prevented.
Caribbean Wellness Day is an annual event which provides an opportunity to increase the awareness of the NCDs in the regionally. Partnerships between public, private, and civil society are mobilised and strengthened to combat NCDs; stakeholders promote multi country, multisectoral activities in support of wellness and showcase national and community-level activities to promote healthy living.
By: Delicia Haynes