JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The country will join the rest of the region to observe Caribbean Wellness Day on September 10, 2016.
  • The Day, which was launched on August 17, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, will be used to highlight the importance of healthy diets and exercise among the population.
  • Activities leading up to the day and throughout the month will incorporate the assistance of stakeholders, faith-based organisations, schools and offices to promote healthy lifestyle.

The country will join the rest of the region to observe Caribbean Wellness Day on September 10, 2016.

The Day, which was launched on August 17, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, will be used to highlight the importance of healthy diets and exercise among the population.

This year, the event will be staged in Half-Way Tree Square from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will feature physical activities for the entire family, food sampling and nutrition education, health checks, interactive displays, a special cook-off, and an entertainment segment. A ‘Children’s Zone’ will be a special feature this year.

The day will be observed under the theme ‘Love your body; Treat your body right’, with the regional campaign guided by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle to prevent the onset of Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension in  Caribbean territories.

In his remarks at the function, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said at this year’s staging, special emphasis will be placed on nurturing healthy habits from childhood with the subtheme ‘Healthy Children in Healthy Environments’.

The Minister noted that nearly one half of Jamaicans are classified as having low levels of physical activity, and that three quarters or more of Jamaicans between 15 and  74  years make poor dietary choices, consuming one or more bottles of sweetened beverage per day, with rural dwellers consuming more than urban dwellers.

“These dietary patterns and lack of physical activity have influenced the increase in the obesity epidemic, which is of great concern to us, particularly among our children,” he said.

Activities leading up to the day and throughout the month will incorporate the assistance of stakeholders, faith-based organisations, schools and offices to promote healthy lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Noreen Jack, informed that Caribbean Wellness Day will coincide with the PAHO/WHO hosted Wellness Week 2016, celebrated in the Americas from September 10 to 18 under the theme ‘All for Health, Step Up’.

Caribbean Wellness Day is observed annually throughout the region to commemorate the summit on Chronic Diseases held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on September 15, 2007, where CARICOM Heads of Government made the decision to develop a united approach in the fight against the epidemic of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs).

The launch featured presentations by the Environmental Health Foundation and displays by the Ministry’s partners – Heart Foundation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Cancer Society and the National Council on Drug Abuse – and eye and blood pressure checks by the Diabetes Association of Jamaica.