August 28, 2009
Caribbean Wellness Day

The Ministry of Health, with assistance from several other ministries, is promoting a week of activities next month to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day on Saturday, September 12.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, August 19, Patsy Wyllie, chairperson of the local committee, outlined some of the activities scheduled to take place in the week running up to Caribbean Wellness Day. “The objective is to promote a healthy lifestyle to reduce [the occurrence of] chronic communicable diseases in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Wyllie also explained that the organizing committee is targeting schools, the workplace, communities and faith-based groups to host activities designed to increase people’s knowledge of living and eating healthily to maintain wellness. She also divulged that the activities would focus on increasing exercise, reducing (and even eliminating) alcohol and tobacco consumption, and improving diet.

Minister of Health Douglas Slater also gave remarks. He pointed out that not only does healthy living improve and prolong quality of life, but also reflects in a country’s GDP when its citizens take care of themselves. Slater noted that a lot of taxpayers’ dollars go towards health care, and the more people look after themselves, the more money will be saved and redirected to more worthy sectors of society. “It makes so much more logic and sense to stay healthy!”

Slater also admonished those who think that it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure its citizens’ health. “You are ultimately responsible for your well-being… each individual has to do it for themselves!”

Kenyatta Lewis, member of the organizing committee representing the faith-based groups, highlighted the importance of health from a religious point of view. “The Bible teaches us that our bodies are a temple.” He suggested that church members indulge in beneficial group activities such as walking on evenings, and urged them to combine a healthy lifestyle with regular check-ups with the doctor.

Lewis reminded the public that the end of the week of activities should not herald the end of their quest for wellness. Instead, it should serve as a jumpstart to improving their lifestyle in the long term.

Nelson Hillocks, Ministry of Sports representative, gave details of a massive walk that will begin at 1 pm on the day (September 12) from three different locations, and culminate at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex. The three meeting points are at Gibson Corner, George Williams gap on the Mesopotamia road, and outside the Diamond Dairy building in Diamond.

T-shirts and bottles of water will be distributed to all those who participate in the walk.

Wyllie further made mention of a symposium to be held on Tuesday, September 8, at the Knowledge Institute. It will address issues such as stress management, diabetes and hypertension, and exercise and healthy living, amongst others.(JSV)