26th July, 2014

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Caribbean Wellness Day


My Dear Parishioners,

Two Sundays ago, in order to promote health and wholeness, we gave some safety tips re- garding the H1N1 virus, and how to protect oneself and avoid infection (as far as that is possible). This week, the Church wishes to share with you some information on the celebration of Caribbean Wellness Day planned for 12th September this year.

Being held in its second year, the Caribbean Community Secretariat will join member states within the Community to observe this special Day, as CARICOM seeks to promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity.

According to Caricom, it is being observed under the theme, “Love that Body”, with particular emphasis being placed on physical activity in workplaces, schools and faith-based organizations.

Caribbean Wellness Day came into being after a decision was taken when the Caribbean Community Heads of Government, deeply concerned about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by life-style-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease and cancer , met in Port-of-Spain, on 15th September, 2007, to design a plan of action to stop the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases. They issued the Port –of – Spain Declaration, “Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases,” and declared that the second Saturday in September be celebrated each year as Caribbean Wellness Day.

In writing to the St. Kitts Christian Council, Mr. Elvis Newton, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, indicated that his Ministry has organized a series of events that will provide the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the epidemic and to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviour through special interventions.

We have been invited as a Church to support this initiative from the Ministry by participating in the planned activities:

  • Sunday, 6th September: A VOICE FOR HEALTH. Promoting: No Tobacco; Reduced salt and fats; Blood pressure checks
  • Monday 7th September: UPFRONT ON ZIZ TELEVISION
  • Thursday, 10th September: NATIONAL FRUIT DAY: In all schools and work places.
  • Friday, 11th September: WELLNESS FAIR AT INDEPENDENCE SQUARE. Screening, for blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, and counselling on nutrition and healthy eating habits. Also at Independence Square, Fitness Centre (Body Image) promoting daily exercise and a Dance a thon. Bouncing Castle for kids.
  • Saturday, 12th. September: Official observance of CARIBBEAN WELLNESS DAY. A wellness walk from the Spratt Net in Old Road to the Old Treasury Building in Basseterre.

The Communication from Mr. Newton concluded: “Your life is in your hands; Love that Body!”

The first Wellness Day was observed last year on 13th September and showcased national and community level activities across the Region which promoted healthy living and encouraged nationals and residents in our states to develop good health practices. This year, Caribbean civil society and members of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition have been invited to take the lead in planning and executing activities within their country.

A media campaign will also be launched with simple messages appealing to Caribbean citizens to avoid tobacco use, to exercise for at least 30 minutes a daily; eat less salt and less fat and dried foods; check blood pressure regularly and avoid harmful use of alcohol. Let us try to stay fit, with a healthy body and a healthy mind.

With every good wish and prayer,

Archdeacon Val Hodge

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