Hundreds of children aged eight to 12 will benefit from a virtual healthy lifestyle summer camp being staged by the Ministry of Health and Wellness today, Wednesday (August 19).
The one-day camp, which will also target parents and teachers, will focus on increasing awareness about the importance of healthy eating and engaging in physical activity in order to combat obesity.
“We believe it is important for them (children) to learn healthy habits from very early, because these are the habits, when formed early, that will continue into adulthood,” Senior Health Education Officer in the Ministry, Julia Manderson Steele, told JIS News.
The virtual camp will kick off at 9:30 a.m. via the Zoom platform. It will also be broadcast on the Ministry’s YouTube channel.
Mrs. Manderson Steele, in noting the importance of the information and awareness-building session, said that every opportunity must be provided to educate young people about healthy lifestyle habits.
“Jamaica and other countries are wrestling with non-communicable diseases (NCD) and these diseases come about mainly because of lifestyle-related issues, so if we can get the children to practise healthy habits from very early, we are going to be helping to reduce the population of persons who have these illnesses,” she pointed out.
She noted that the presenters, who will be drawn from the Health Ministry’s Nutrition Unit, Health Promotion and Education Unit, and the Non-Communicable Disease Unit, will utilise “very fun ways” to get the messages across to the children.
She said that the presenters will also reinforce the protocols and measures to safeguard children against the coronavirus (COVID-19) as they prepare to go back to school.
Partners in the staging of the camp are the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC); and the National Parent-Teacher Association (NPTA).