Providenciales, TCI, September 9, 2016 – Caribbean Wellness Day is being observed around the Caribbean on Saturday the 10th of September.
This day and by extension this week is geared towards increasing awareness and promoting activities to address the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which continues to severely impact the health, economy and development of not only the Turks and Caicos but the entire region.
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services joins CARICOM and CARPHA in their efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and eradicate ( non- communicable diseases) NCDs. Dr. Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) stated that, “ all individuals have a responsibility when it comes to healthy living “ and encourages individuals to make a least one lifestyle change. These changes can include but are not limited to: Walking, running or swimming for 30 minutes a day, reducing your salt intake,eating five servings of fruit and vegetables, not smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption.
The Hon. Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human services states that, “We cannot over emphasize the importance of physical activity, it is important that we also engage our children. Physical activity always assists and decreases your risk for chronic illnesses.” He also encourages the nation to take part in the activities for Caribbean Wellness Week and stated, “remember the change begins with the individual taking the first step, we must work together to ensure a healthier nation”.
According to CARPHA, obesity in adolescent children is now at the rate of 1 in every 5. These persons are at a higher risk for developing NCD’s and other complications later in life. We know that lifestyle factors like lack of physical activity and diet are not the only contributing factors to obesity but they are a huge and critical factor. According to the National NCD Action Plan, 60% of deaths in the TCI were as a result of NCD’s.
As we continue to reduce preventable and avoidable diseases, the quality of life for each individual will increase. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand. Let us thrive to live healthier and longer fulfilling lives.
For more information on non-communicable diseases contact the Health Promotion Unit on 338-2772 in Grand Turk and 3384-942 in Providenciales.