Our Readers' Opinions
September 10, 2010
PMC group supports Caribbean Wellness Day concept

Fri, Sept 10, 2010

Editor: The PMC expresses its full support for the concept of a Caribbean Wellness Day. In fact, we in the PMC believe that the state of consciousness we should strive for demands that every day in our personal and collective lives should be a day of physical and spiritual wellness.{{more}}

This Caricom initiative which was launched in 2008 and will be celebrated here on September 11, 2010, is a timely reminder of the state of our health. Too many of our people suffer untimely death and unnecessary handicap, pain and suffering because of our life style.

Three years ago Caricom heads of government acknowledged the problem and expressed deep concern about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes (sugar), hypertension (pressure), stroke, heart disease, obesity and cancer.

The PMC totally endorses this campaign which is intended to stop the growing epidemic of chronic non communicable diseases. However, we lament the fact that in our country, too many good initiatives become hostage to political considerations. Three years ago we launched what was called a wellness revolution. We watched on in pain as it fizzled in nothing more than posturings. Nothing tangible was done to make wellness attractive and attainable. Wellness in our country has become a talking point that is unfocused in concept and lacking a comprehensive implimentation strategy.

To be meaningful, the struggle for wellness must be driven by a mind set which recognizes that our current health predicament grew out of modern life style changes imposed by a consumerist, materialist, instant gratification political. This deterioration in our health does not only bring personal grief. It has a burgeoning national cost as our health services strain under the weight of caring for our people. Recognition of wellness day with a serious political and economic confrontation with this decadent order will bring neither reform nor relief to those affected by this decadent political economy which fosters this life style.

Therefore, the PMC maintains that a more holistic strategy should be developed that showcases national and community level activities to promote healthy living that encourages nationals to develop good health practices. To be effective, a wellness day must include vehicle free streets and smoke free environments to provide safe spaces for healthy eating and physical activity away from vehicular exhaust and tobacco smoke.

The PMC is also of the view that a campaign for wellness will only be effective and promote healthy living for the prevention and control of non communicable diseases if it encourages popular participation in physical activity. Such a campaign must set achievable targets rather than emphasize broad goals. Among these should be efforts to quit smoking, a programme of regular exercise, a switch to eating less, but more healthy foods, as well as controlling pressure levels and consuming less sugar.

Unless such a programme is conceptualized and implimented, the PMC is of the view that Caribbean Wellness Day will be yet another grand idea that barks at the flying clouds while the health of our

people continue its steady and dangerous decline.

The Peoples Movement for Change