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SVG joins region to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day

SVG joins region to    celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day

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As St. Vincent and the Grenadines gears up to join the rest of the region to celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day on Saturday, September 10, this country’s Health Minister, Cecil Mckie, is urging Vincentians to pay more attention to their wellbeing.{{more}}

As part of efforts to heighten the awareness for Caribbean Wellness Day, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has embarked on a week of activities which got underway on Sunday, September 4, with a church service at the Evangelical Church in Kingstown.

A press conference was then held yesterday, Monday 6, where Mckie emphasized the importance of observing the Wellness Day.

“We would have recognized that if we don’t live healthy lifestyles we will get sick; it will cost the individual, their family and the nation lots of money to manage their respective illnesses or eventually that individual may die.

“But, have we taken heed of this reality? I hasten to say that the response is a resounding no,” the Minister stated.

A concerned Mckie further explained that persons who do not take heed to living healthy lifestyle will continue to descend down a very slippery slope.

“A slope that leads to challenges for individuals, families, communities and countries relative to persons not living healthy lifestyles. It is for this reason that the heads of CARICOM in 2007 recognized that we had a very serious problem on our hands,” he stated.

The observance of Caribbean Wellness Day was one of the decisions taken when the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, deeply concerned about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, obesity and cancer, met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 15 September 2007, to design a plan of action to stop the epidemic of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Reiterating the sentiments of the Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Dr. St. Clair Thomas also expressed his concerns for a healthier nation.

“I want to let us be reminded that the chronic non-communicable diseases are much of a focus in our planning. We are aware that health and wellness does not come by chance and no one should take their health and wellbeing for granted.

“Health must not be taken for granted; it is here today, enjoy it and do all that you can to maintain good health and wellness,” said Thomas.

Plans for the remaining activities on Caribbean Wellness Day also include a Symposium and Food Exhibition to be held at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall today. On Wednesday, September 7, there will be an Inter-Ministerial fun day at the Grammar School playing field. Thursday, September 8 has been designated as Stress Free night at the Cruise Ship terminal.

The activities climax on Saturday, September 10, with the Caribbean Wellness Day walk. The walk commences at three different locations: Gibson Corner, the Octagon at Diamond and from the George Williams shop in Belmont. The walk from each location will conclude at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

Caribbean Wellness Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in September, and showcases national and community level activities to promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop good health practices.(AA)

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