Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 23, 2016 (SKNIS):  On September 10, 2016, St. Kitts and Nevis will join the rest of the world in observing Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD). Against this backdrop, the day will be incorporated into the Independence 33 Celebrations.

 “Caribbean Wellness Day is being promoted this year during the period September 10-18, and it is meant to build awareness within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in terms of the need for health and wellness of our people, the imperative for good health as it relates to the fact that our people are our best resource, and that the competitiveness of our region resides in the health of our people,” said the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, Minister of State with responsibility for Health, during the sitting of National Parliament on Tuesday, August 23.

 Minister Phipps noted that Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, “sits in Quasi Cabinet of the CARICOM as the lead Prime Minister on Health, as well as Human and Social Development.”

 “And as such, he [Prime Minister Harris] will be taking the lead on September 10 with a multizone walk in St. Kitts starting from two points, Tabernacle to Basseterre, and in Sandy Point,” she said, while adding that the walk [from Sandy Point] will continue to Basseterre and it is the intention that persons would join the walk in their respective zones. “The walk will converge in Independence Square at which point there will be an available health clinic that would allow for blood pressure screenings, screenings for diabetes and weight checks [to name a few] for those persons who would be so inclined to have these levels checked.”

 The Minister of State with responsibility for Health explained that it was important to place increased focus on Caribbean Wellness Day.

 “One of the real reasons behind pushing Caribbean Wellness Day is in light of the fact that the leading killer of our people is heart disease, cancers and other chronic ailments recently categorized as Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs),” said Senator Phipps. “By extension, it is the leading cause of death and illnesses resulting in death in CARICOM as well, and as a result of that, what we are doing this year and by extension in 2017, would be an intention towards zeroing in on those issues that are contingent to the problems that we have with NCDs in the Federation.

 Senator Phipps said that the Government will be “joining the rest of CARICOM in rolling out a host of programmes that is earmarked to the sensitization and celebration of the Port of Spain Declaration,” which is a declaration of war against NCDs and the impact they continue to have on people.

A Caribbean Wellness Day event is also planned for Nevis on the afternoon of Monday, September 19, Independence Day, where residents and citizens alike will engage themselves in fit and wellness games at the fitness park.

 Caribbean Wellness Day is observed annually throughout the region to commemorate the Summit on Chronic Diseases held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on, September 15, 2007, where CARICOM Heads of Government made the decision to develop a united approach in the fight against the epidemic of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs).

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