The first of four activities to mark Barbados’ observance of Caribbean Wellness Day on Saturday was well attended. It took the form of an outreach at the Cheapside Market by the Diabetes Association of Barbados, which teamed up with the National Non-Communicable Disease Commission and the National Task Force On Physical Activity of the Ministry of Health.
“What we’re trying to do is to call the attention of the public to the need to reduce the risk factors associated with NCDs [non-communicable diseases],”
said Denise Carter Taylor, senior health promotion officer in the Ministry of Health.
“The five leading causes of death and illness in Barbados are chronic diseases and you would imagine that that consumes major resources in terms of hospital care, medical care, pharmaceutical products, as well as the efforts that we make in health education and health promotion. So this is a major focus for us in the Ministry of Health. What we’re trying to say is that the whole society, because of the magnitude of the problem, needs to be involved in the response.”
On Saturday, the Diabetes Association set up a mobile unit and information desk at the Cheapside Market, attracting scores of residents who sought tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and information on healthy eating.
“We had a very great response; so we’re actually going to be coming back to this venue. Persons are really interested in knowing what their blood sugar level is, what are their risks of developing diabetes, as well as gaining nutrition information,” said Stacia Brewster, the association’s administrator, who explained her organization was also conducting a diabetes risk assessment.
“We saw people of all ages, and we saw males as well, which is a good sign.”
Yesterday, the National Task Force On Physical Activity And Exercise and the National Non-Communicable Diseases Commission participated in a service of worship at the St David’s Anglican Church.
Wednesday has been dubbed Wear Your Sneakers To Work Day, which seeks to encourage workers to use the stairs, organize group exercise sessions and take regular fitness breaks. The final activity, Wellness Walk Meets Yoga Heart Flow, takes place next week Saturday at the Hastings Rocks Esplanade in Christ Church from 4:30 p.m.
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