Do not put off til tomorrow that which you can do today says Minister of Health, Donville Inniss.
He was this morning speaking at the fourth annual Health Fair hosted by the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic at the SJPP in Wildey, St. Michael.
The theme for this year’s fair is: Your Health Status is Your Responsibility and he encouraged the students to act responsibly and take full responsibility for their health.
Inniss said that his government firmly believed that a little education in the area health could go a long way to determine the quality of their life so he asked that they utilized the opportunities available to be tested and counselled at the various booths.
“Health promotion is the way to go in Barbados as we battle with our health challenges. The incidence of cancers, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory illnesses and sexually transmitted diseases continue to take their toll on the lives of so many in our society. Not only are we speaking of mortality rates, but also the fact that so many sick days are recorded in the workforce, low productivity, loss of income to families and disruption of family units, all have severe social and economic consequences to individuals, families and societies,” he said.
“When one realises that being on dialysis costs the state approximately $4,000 per person per month plus all the hardships to families, and that had more persons gotten their blood sugar levels checked in a timely manner and followed the advice of our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, they would not be in this position – one can only hold their heads and shake in dismay.”
The Minister also had words of wisdom, especially for the men in the audience who he said were sometimes too afraid to go to the doctor for certain tests.
He told them that they could and must do better.
“When you see the number of men who keep putting of a visit to the doctor or clinic to have a Prostate Specific Antigen test, but can find the time and money to lime in bars and rumshops persistently and consistently – and then have to battle prostate cancer – then I know also that we can do better in this society.
“Of particular concern are our men who either despite their manliness are afraid to go to the doctor, feel getting a check-up is for women only, feel that they can mask and manage their pain or have some other reason best known to God and themselves. Men don’t lose their manhood by going to the doctor. As a matter of fact – you may actually be able to keep your “manhood” if you go to the doctor in a timely manner.
“The Ministry of Health will continue to pursue its health promotion activities with the view of having more Barbadians lead active and healthier lifestyles however, the responsibility lies with you the individual to know your health status. Start treating your health as a priority. Put your health ahead of your cell phone, liming in the bar, going overseas on vacation, buying a new car or simply doing nothing,” he advised. (KC)