Press release 355/2010
(09 September 2010)

STATEMENT ON CARIBBEAN WELLNESS DAY 2010, BY THE HONOURABLE DENZIL DOUGLAS, PRIME MINISTER OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS AND LEAD HEAD WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH AND HIV/AIDS IN THE QUASI-CABINET OF THE CARICOM CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT, SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2010
 

 
It is my pleasure to convey my greetings to the populations of the Region on this third Caribbean Wellness Day. I am very pleased to note that almost all countries in the CARICOM Community have been engaged in activities to promote preventive strategies to combat the continuing spread of Non-Communicable Diseases which account for over 60 percent of all deaths.

Wellness Day is one of the actionable recommendations of the Declaration of Port-of–Spain on Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic NCDs which resulted from the 2007 landmark Summit of CARICOM Heads of Government in Trinidad and Tobago. The results of this Summit are far-reaching in so far as several CARICOM countries have introduced and implemented specific programmes, among which are healthy school meals; compulsory physical education in schools; healthy spaces to facility community recreation and exercise; and public education on hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Some countries have imposed additional taxes on tobacco intended to reduce smoking which is the single most preventable cause of death, yet accounts for 20 percent of all deaths in the Caribbean. It kills 50 percent of regular users, half of whom are between the ages of 35 to 69.

The Caribbean Community has successfully advocated for a special United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases to be held in September 2010 in New York. We in the Region should be proud that our Port-of-Spain Declaration and its follow up activities are models to the rest of the international community. This makes it even more important for us to continue to scale up our implementation of the Declaration and in this way, create a healthier and wealthier population.

I urge you all to tangibly support the theme of Wellness Day 2010: Love that Body. Make it last. To do this we must resolve to eat right; exercise regularly; and avoid smoking, excessive use of alcohol and substance abuse.

CONTACT: piu@caricom.org
 

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