Business leaders in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean are being urged by the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to join in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by participating in Caribbean Wellness Week, which runs from Saturday, September 14, to Friday, September 20.

The week is an extension of Caribbean Wellness Day, which will be celebrated on Saturday, September 14. The Ministry of Health and the Task Force on Physical Activity and Exercise will stage a Fitness Fair at Dover Playing Field, Christ Church from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. to mark the day.

Wellness Week was launched in September 2011 to coincide with the United Nations High-Level Meeting in New York, at which world leaders discussed the rise in non-communicable diseases as one of the most significant threats to human development in recent times.

PAHO/WHO is inviting the business community to show solidarity in the fight against NCDs such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer and obesity by promoting and showcasing prevention activities during the week.

These initiatives may include fitness/exercise/dance sessions for staff members, patrons and members of the public; the provision of screening and/or counselling sessions for weight and blood pressure measurement; and encouraging workplace cafeterias to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods that are low in sugar, salt and fat as a component of their menu choices.

In a recent bulletin outlining tips that businesses may use to mark the week, the PAHO/WHO Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Countries pointed out that ???NCDs can affect all of us and all members of society can play a part in preventing and controlling them. These diseases can affect the productivity of individuals, businesses and entire countries???.

Businesses leaders who plan to celebrate Wellness Week can have their activities documented by PAHO/WHO.

Written and photographic records of activities may be submitted to Mrs. Larone Hyland, Public Health Specialist at email:; or persons may call 434-5200 extension: 40047 for further details.

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