JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has called on private sector partners to assist the Government’s programme to promote healthy lifestyle among Jamaicans.
He was delivering the keynote address at a wellness exposition hosted by Jamalco on November 4, at the company’s plant in Hayes, Clarendon.
Mr. Spencer said that while the Southern Regional Health Authority (SERA), in which Clarendon falls, held over 100 wellness events last year, reached over 100,000 persons with health education and promotion activities, and distributed more than 150,000 materials, the Ministry was looking to non-state actors to complement its efforts.
“Partners, such as Jamalco, need to scale-up their own health promotion activities among its workforce and in the neighbouring communities to complement the activities of the Ministry of Health,” he said.
“Companies must view this as an investment to preserve and grow the company’s bottom line. A healthy workforce contributes to high productivity, a stable workforce and peace and harmony at the workplace. The active and consistent involvement of non governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector and faith-based organisations is urgent,” the Minister added.
He said that lifestyle-related illnesses pose a challenge to the country, and must be tackled by all concerned.
“The early onset of obesity places persons at risk to develop cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The effects of these diseases result in over 70 per cent of the claims to the National Health Fund (NHF). Obesity also reduces life expectancy by an average of six to seven years,” he noted.
He commended Jamalco for organising the wellness expo, which he said, represented an investment in the health of the workforce and the wider community.
He further encouraged the company to develop a healthy lifestyle workplace policy, “if you have not yet done so.”

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