Caribbean Wellness Day will be celebrated by the Ministry of Health, next month, with a number of exercise-related activities in Bridgetown.
The annual event, which focuses on reducing Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs), will be observed on Saturday, September 12, under the theme "Love that Body, Move that Body".?? It is expected to build on last year’s inaugural Caribbean Wellness Day.
Activities will be concentrated in Independence Square, Heroes Square, Broad Street, Swan Street and Jubilee Gardens.
According to Senior Medical Officer for CNCDs, Dr. Kenneth George, the Ministry welcomes the observance of Caribbean Wellness Day, since CNCDs are a major cause for concern in Barbados. "With more than 60 percent of our adult population overweight and significant numbers affected by hypertension, diabetes and other chronic
conditions, we are hoping that Caribbean Wellness Day will act as a catalyst to get persons focused on their health and on healthy choices," he said.
Dr. George is urging members of the public, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the area of health and members of the Bridgetown business community to join the Ministry of Health in supporting the event.
He revealed that the Ministry was partnering with a number of stores to have discounts on health-related products and some specialty items to encourage members of the public to buy exercise gear, equipment, or other items that would get them started on their path to wellness.
On the day, the Ministry will be promoting vehicle-free streets in Bridgetown, smoke-free environments and providing safe spaces for physical activity and healthy eating.?? Broad Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Activities are expected to begin with a five kilometre fun walk around Bridgetown, starting at 7:00 a.m. Members of the public will be invited to participate in exercise sessions, sample healthy foods, have health checks and enjoy a variety of cultural activities, while receiving tips from health care providers.
Caribbean Wellness Day was sanctioned by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government at the Chronic Disease Summit of Port of Spain in 2007. It was designed as a starting point for a plan of action to reduce the high incidence of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) in the Caribbean.