??Minister of Health, Donville Inniss (third left) and band leader and Medical Officer of Health at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Dr. Ingrid Cumberbatch?? (fourth from right) stand with models from the Crop Over Band IMAGE "We Health and We Culture".

Healthy lifestyles will be depicted prominently on Grand Kadooment Day, August 1, when the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National HIV/AIDS Commission, presents the band IMAGE "We Health & We Culture".

The brainchild of the Medical Officer of Health at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Dr. Ingrid Cumberbatch, the band was officially launched on Saturday, June 18, by Health Minister Donville Inniss. The ceremony took place at the bandhouse located at the former headquarters of the Ministry of Health on Jemmotts Lane.

According to Dr. Cumberbatch, the band, which aims to attract some 150 revellers, will portray our health care system and specific public health messages. It is divided into three sections.??

She explained: "The first section Prevention, "Prevent HIV & Protect We Culture" will focus on the importance of practices to help prevent HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. The second, Moving "Make Physical Activity Part of We Culture," will highlight the need to increase physical activity in our lifestyles to help reduce the risk of developing chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

"The third, Celebration "WSPC 25 Years & Sustaining We Culture," will zone in on the polyclinics as major contributors to the good health care system that we have in Barbados, particularly their role in promoting family planning, HIV awareness and in identifying and controlling common public health issues."

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Lynn Armstrong, noted it was always commendable when those involved in the Crop Over festival incorporated healthy lifestyle messages into the usual revelry.

"The balance is always appreciated because Crop Over, even though being our major carnival can also see some people ???falling along the wayside’," Ms. Armstrong said.

She added: "The messages which this band IMAGE "We Health and We Culture" intends to disseminate are excellent examples of the Commission’s active Behavioural Change Communication programme. Those messages will no doubt reach those key populations at higher risk."

Persons interested in registering with the newest Crop Over band can view the costumes at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.


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