JIS News

Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, has called on Jamaicans to play a more active role in helping to reduce the growing incidence of lifestyle illnesses among nationals.
He noted that 60 per cent of deaths in Jamaica are attributable to non- communicable or lifestyle diseases.
The Health Minister was speaking at the recent launch of the Longville Park Green Space at the Longville Park Housing Scheme in Clarendon. The third such facility in the island, the green space is to be used by residents for recreation and exercise.
The Minister stated that the dedication of these green spaces signal a focus by Government and the ordinary Jamaican on the importance of promoting good health. He said it is encouraging to see the awakening of a desire among Jamaicans to eat healthy and obtain sufficient exercise, as more and more, people are becoming aware of the wisdom of preventing illnesses, rather than having to treat them.
“The launch of this facility supports Jamaica’s renewed focus on healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. It serves as an important reminder that health is not just the absence of disease, but the journey towards such a state. You must continue to work out and watch what you eat, and plant some kind of vegetable garden around your house,” he urged.
He further implored the residents to assist in maintaining the facility by supporting the Citizens’ Association, and complying with the rules governing the zone. This way, he declared, several generations of Jamaicans will benefit from it.
Kenisha Clark, who lives in Longville Park, expressed her satisfaction with the facility and encouraged residents to make use of the area. She noted that exercise is important in the maintenance of good health.
Meanwhile, Regional Health Promotion Officer attached to the Southern Regional Health Authority, Heather Wood-Mullings, informed JIS News that there has been an increase in chronic lifestyle illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes across the island. She argued that these account for a large percentage of medical expenses incurred each year and are largely preventable.
“If people made a conscious effort to maintain good health by eating healthy and exercising at least five times per week, we should be able to prevent or control these illnesses,” she stated.