Ministry Of Health Taking Healthy Messages to the People

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One of the salt reduction messages placed in a Transport Board bus. (A. Miller/BGIS)

The Ministry of Health is leaving no stone unturned as it takes the message of healthy eating and salt reduction to the public through the placement of 15 posters in Transport Board buses and on two bus shelters.

The campaign, which is spearheaded by the National Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Commission, was developed to promote the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. According to Senior Health Promotion Officer at the Ministry, Denise Carter-Taylor, research has shown that not many fruits and vegetables were being consumed by Barbadians.

Health Minister, Donville Inniss, who participated in the launch held yesterday, Wednesday, January 23, in the car park of JB’s Super Centre, Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church, complimented the NCD Commission for ???thinking outside of the box’.

"For years, we would travel on the bus and see ads for unhealthy drinks, energy drinks, sexual enhancement products and cigarettes.?? I am happy that the NCD Commission has taken the approach that they will go right into the enemy camp and place their ads either alongside them, or in a more prominent position, so that we get the message across," he remarked.

Mr. Inniss also expressed concern about a cigarette manufacturer’s print advertisements in a local newspaper.???? "We don’t want a tobacco manufacturer to gain root in Barbados again. It is unhealthy. It may create a few jobs and earn us some foreign exchange, but if we allow them to take root, we will spend a lot more treating individuals who consume their products," he said.??

Pointing out that the Ministry had made a paradigm shift to a focus on prevention, he noted that this included the fostering of an enlightened population which understands the challenges and the consequences of not taking their health seriously.??

The bus advertisement campaign is partly sponsored by the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited. Its Manager of Marketing and Communications, Wanda Mayers, disclosed that 60 to 70 per cent of all medical claims are associated with NCDs.

lisa.bayley@barbados.gov.bb

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