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The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) in partnership with the Ministry of Health held consultations with various churches and faith based organisations (FBOs) in response to the prevalence of chronic diseases and the need to promote healthy lifestyles, Thursday (August 26).
Director, Disease Prevention and Control in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Copeland, noted that the consultations were aimed at strengthening the national response, in preventing and controlling chronic diseases.
“Health is not just the absence of disease, it is the real whole person approach which is using the approach of mind and body, feeling secure, healthy and well placed in your community,” Dr. Copeland said.

Health Advisor, Pan American Health Organisation, Dr. Rwang Abwoba (right) and Director of Cooperation at the Ministry of Health, Vivia Betton look at a pamphlet containing information on Dengue during a consultation with churches and faith based organisations at the Altamont Court Hotel, New Kingston Thursday (Aug. 26).

She was speaking during the consultations with the various faith- based organisations, at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston.
Dr. Copeland also noted there were seven important tenets of health including spiritual, physical, mental, financial, social and relational health and vocational balance.
“When one is out of sync with the other, it can impact on your physical health,” she said.
Health Advisor, Pan American Health Organisation, Dr. Rwang Abwoba, noted that there is a role for faith-based organisations in the fight against chronic diseases.
“You have a very special role to play, as your involvement helps the ministry to promote community participation that will contribute to capacity building in the health system. The way we see the churches and FBOs is way beyond how we have seen you before, it’s not just about faith, it’s also about the body because they go together,” Dr. Abwoba said.
Director of Cooperation in Health at the Ministry of Health, Vivia Betton, also noted that churches and FBOs have an important role to play in the fight against chronic diseases in Jamaica.
“It is such an important area, and today’s consultations provide a good opportunity for us to share in our experiences, and for the faith based organisations to report on the progress they have been making in their various activities in this area,” Mrs. Betton said.
Some of the activities included group discussions and the provision of guidelines for churches and faith based organisations, in response to chronic diseases, epidemics and promoting healthy lifestyles.

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