KINGSTON — Scores of residents of Longville Park and surrounding communities in Clarendon are expected to attend a National Health Festival, to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day 2011, on Saturday, September 10.
The event, organised by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the National Health Fund (NHF), will be staged at the Longville Park Healthy Zone between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Activities will include a nutrition village, aerobic workout sessions and football and netball competitions. Among the officials scheduled to attend are, the Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, PAHO/WHO Representative in Jamaica, Dr. Hugo Prado-Monje, Chief Medical Officer of Jamaica, Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller and the Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Hugh Lawson.
Wellness Day was first observed in 2008, following a commitment by Caribbean Heads of Government, through the Port of Spain Declaration, to stop the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases in the region. It is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in September, under the theme, "Love your body, treat your body right."
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank session, Director of Health Promotion and Education in the Ministry of Health, Takese Foga, explained that the objective of the celebration is to promote healthy living, by encouraging individuals to practice habits such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, avoidance of excessive use of alcohol and responsible sexual behaviour.
"We are looking at celebrating a month of activities. We are looking at September as a Wellness Month," she said.
Activities scheduled for the month are walkathons, fun runs, fun walks and screening.
She noted that food demonstrations, which will focus on healthy eating, will also be done, as well as health fairs to highlight the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. A mini health fair is scheduled for Knockpatrick, Manchester on September 22.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Information Officer