With chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes on the rise, the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Environment, held a health fair in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay recently.
The event was aimed at educating the public on how to care their bodies and to mitigate against the serious effects of these diseases.
Hundreds of persons, including students from educational institutions in St. James, attended the fair and got free tests, in addition to educational literature, demonstrations and counselling on several health issues and practices.
In her address, Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Eva Lewis-Fuller, appealed to residents to seek to change their behaviour and eating habits, in order to counteract the effects of lifestyle diseases.
Students attending the health fair of the Western Regional Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and the Environment Health, at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay recently.
“We must take heed and look at what the risk factors are and try to change our behaviour. Some of these risk factors are poor eating habits and eating lots of oily foods. You have heard about trans fat and the effects on the body. You have heard about eating too much salt and its effects on high blood pressure, eating too much sugar and the effects of diabetes and the lack of physical activities. The causes therefore of chronic diseases are people’s behaviour as well as their social interaction and social living. We therefore need to change our behaviour,” she emphasized.
The Director said it was important that people understand the choices they Regional Nutritionist of the WRHA, Yvonne Davis, told JIS News that the overall objective of the health fair was to continue to promote a holistic approach to good health by eating healthier and practising a more active lifestyle, focusing on the relationship between dietary facts and health and explaining the concepts of trans fats and their effects on the human body.
“We are presently having increases in chronic diseases with a lot of people having high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes and trans fats, which increase people’s risk of having heart diseases and hardening of the arteries, hence the educational health fair to make people more aware of these issues for healthier living,” Ms. Davis said.
The event was held under the theme: ‘Healthy eating and active living: be aware of trans fat’.