NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 13, 2013) — Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Mark Brantley urged Nevisians to take responsibility for their health, love their body and use the island’s health facilities to assist with better health management.
Mr. Brantley was at the time delivering an address on Nevis Television Channel 8 on September 09, 2013, to mark Nevis’ observance of Caribbean Wellness Day which is commemorated annually on the second Saturday in September. This year’s observance will be held on September 14th under the theme “Love that Body.”
“The Ministry of Health once again takes the opportunity to remind the population that the health of the nation is the wealth of the nation. We also believe that prevention is better than cure.
“As such, beyond the physical, mental and emotional health of our people is the financial health of our island which are all interlinked. We urge you to take responsibility for your health. Love your body! We urge you to visit your nearest health facility for advice on how you can better manage your health,” he said.
The Health Minister explained that Caribbean Wellness Day was the result of the Port of Spain Declaration proclaimed by Caribbean Countries (CARICOM) Heads of Government as a means to reduce the high prevalence of non communicable diseases (NCDs).
He noted that the Caribbean had the highest prevalence of NCDs and according to the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, diabetes mortality in Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines was 600 percent higher than North America while in Barbados the prevalence rate and mortality of the disease related lower extremity amputations was among the highest in the world.
However the Health Minister explained that on Nevis there were more than 500 persons on the diabetes and hypertensive registers.
“Cancer is also a great concern with an average of 25 new cases per year over the last three years. Cognizant of the fact that this situation is unsustainable, the Ministry of Health will continue to place its emphasis on health promotion and prevention activities.
“Encouraging healthy lifestyle practices is the focus of health promotion activities at our health centres, schools, community centres and workplaces. Persons are taught skills to equip them to effectively manage their health,” he said.
Mr. Brantley said the Ministry f Health on Nevis was pleased to roll out a series of creative and dynamic activities for Caribbean Wellness Day which spanned the entire month of September. They included healthy cooking demonstrations, health screening activities, health education sessions, a hike and a presentation by renowned cardiologist from Atlanta in the United States of America Dr. Charlie Rouse.
He commended private partners Dr. Rouse and Oncologist and Haematologist Dr. Erole Hobdy along with other Government Ministries in particular the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis for the valuable contributions they have made to the commemoration of Caribbean Wellness Day on Nevis.