The Ministry of Health has embarked upon a programme that seeks to utilise various communication media, including the popular social network, facebook, to convey important public health messages to the public.

To this end, the Ministry, its departments and the need for increased physical activity and good nutritional practices will continue to be the focus of the ongoing 30 minute television programme, Get Healthy Barbados. The show which is being produced by the Health Promotion Unit of the Ministry is aired on Wednesdays on CBC Channel 8 at 8:30 p.m. and is repeated on Friday afternoons at 12:30.

According to the Ministry’s Senior Health Promotion Officer, Denise Carter-Taylor, Get Healthy Barbados provides information to members of the general public in an effort to encourage them to make better decisions in relation to their heath. Topics already covered in the programme include:?? the ban on smoking in public places; the national salt reduction and dietary improvement initiative, healthy food in schools; the Ministry’s immunization programme; vector control and mental health.

"The programme includes a regular fitness/physical activity segment and also includes timely health tips, for example dengue fever has been of concern recently so we focused on that," Ms. Carter-Taylor explained.

According to her, the Ministry has also launched interactive platforms via Facebook – Clear The Air Barbados and Keep Moving Barbados.??

"The Clear the Air page was launched recently for persons to discuss Government’s new legislation, banning smoking in public places.?? There you can also find a ???Frequently Asked Questions’ section, including ??the main reasons for implementing regulations to prohibit tobacco smoking in public places, the definition of a ???public place’ in the context of the regulations and the requisite penalties," Ms. Carter Taylor observed.

The National Task Force on Physical Activity and Exercise, developed to create well thought-out programmes to involve Barbadians from all walks of life in physical activity, has also created a Keep Moving Barbados page. Community groups can notify the 350 plus members and visitors to the page about upcoming health and exercise events.?? There is also an extensive photo gallery of past Task Force events.??

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