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Minister of Health announces plans for Caribbean Wellness Day
By Betty Vedrine
Sep 8, 2010 - 5:00:15 PM

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Minister of Health Dr the Hon Hubert Minnis speaks to the media about Caribbean Wellness Day, which is slated for Saturday, September 11. The event, which is an initiative by CARICOM leaders in the region, focuses on non-communicable chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and alcohol abuse. (BIS photo/Patrick Hanna).

Nassau, Bahamas -- Minister of Health Dr the Hon Hubert Minnis announced that Caribbean Wellness Day will be observed on Saturday, September 11 in The Bahamas and other CARICOM member countries.

“I am proud to announce that The Bahamas will once again join other countries within the region to observe Caribbean Wellness Day,” Dr Minnis said during a during a press conference held just before Cabinet Ministers met in Parliament, Wednesday, September 8.

Caribbean Wellness Day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Love Your Body, Portions Count’ and will feature a cross-section of activities for the whole family including food demonstrations, health screenings and counselling, informational booths, sample giveaways, sports activities, physical activity competitions and entertainment.

The health extravaganza will be held on the compound of the Ministry of Health on Poinciana Hill from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.

The event commemorates the signing of the Port of Spain Declaration on September 15, 2007 by the CARICOM Heads of Governments in order to demonstrate the countries’ commitment to decreasing the epidemic of chronic diseases in the region. 

This initiative will focus on chronic non-communicable diseases including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and diabetes – the leading causes of illness and premature deaths in the Caribbean today. 

Attention will also be placed on physical activity, tobacco, alcohol and salt.  The objective of the declaration is for all Caribbean countries to develop “comprehensive plans for the screening and management of chronic diseases and risk factors so that by 2012, 80 per cent of persons with communicable chronic diseases would receive quality care and have access to preventative education based on regional guidelines”.

Dr Minnis said, “Now is the time to take action to improve your health!  This means taking time to care for yourselves. We have the power to prevent or control chronic diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn the risk factors and take action to prevent and control those diseases.”

Partners for the event include the Ministry of Health, The National Insurance Board, Bank of The Bahamas, Family Guardian, Bahama Health and the Pan American Health Organization.

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