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Story Highlights

  • Scores of persons participated in the Caribbean Wellness Day activities
  • Good interpersonal relationships are necessary for mental health
  • A good diet is also critical to health and wellness

MONTEGO BAY – Scores of persons participated in the Caribbean Wellness Day activities and received free health screening, as well as counselling on various health issues on Saturday (September 14) at the Ocean Village Shopping Centre, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

“Everybody should get checked, you need to know what your status is: are you physically fit, are you obese, what is your blood pressure, your blood glucose? If you don’t know your status, you can’t do anything about it, and the same way we go to our bank and we check our account, we need to check our health account,” stated Director of Chronic Diseases and Injuries Prevention at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Tamu Davidson-Sadler.

She noted that with chronic diseases early screening and diagnosis, followed up with proper treatment and management can prevent complications and death from these diseases.

Turning to the mental health component of wellness, Dr. Davidon-Sadler said good interpersonal relationships are necessary.

She further stated that with more persons getting into physical activities, the hope is that events such as Caribbean Wellness Day will encourage more of the population to recognised the value of health and fitness.

“There are things that we can do as individuals, and one of the first things is to look at how we are living-getting physically active can prevent many chronic diseases, even outside of those we speak about often, such as high blood pressure and diabetes… it may mean walking where we don’t have to drive, it may mean taking the stairs, it may mean coming off one bust stop earlier to get to where we are going,” she explained.

Dr. Davidson Sadler noted also that a good diet is also critical to health and wellness. This she said includes making healthy food choices, and drinking more water instead of sugary beverages.

Meanwhile, Public Information Manager at the National Health Fund (NHF), Rosemarie Lee, used the opening ceremony to encourage parents to monitor and decide what their children eat at school.

She stressed that many things that are sold to children are not good for their health “and we really need to visit (schools) sometimes and see what our children are having. We need to set the examples for them, starting in the homes,” she said.

Caribbean Wellness Day emerged out of a 2007 decision made by CARICOM Governments to establish initiatives to decrease chronic Non-Communicable Diseases.