Saint Lucia Moves – A Campaign to Combat NCDs

Health checkup at Caribbean Wellness Day festival.
Health checkup at Caribbean Wellness Day festival.

Saint Lucia has committed itself to combatting non-communicable diseases NCDs with the launch of “St. Lucia Moves” campaign.

Following the recent launch of the campaign, the Ministry for Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs issued a call to individuals to remain active and strive for improved health.

The St. Lucia Moves campaign is aimed at reducing the burden of NCDs by encouraging individuals and organisations to promote and support healthy behaviours through various interventions.

Senior Medical Officer for Non-Communicable Diseases NCDs Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert says she is extremely elated with the launch of the campaign and encourages Saint Lucians to keep moving.

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“Today, as we launch the St. Lucia Moves campaign, we commit to move; to move forward. We commit to change. We commit to progress and a positive journey towards wellness,” she declared.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Jenny Daniel believes the St. Lucia Moves campaign will play a significant part in taking steps towards ensuring overall wellness of citizens.

“Today, we also launch our St. Lucia Moves campaign which is the most visible and key component of our journey towards overall national wellness,” said Daniel. “Whereas, physical activity is an essential component of wellness, we would like to emphasis that exercise does not singly equate wellness by any means at all, but rather that wellness encompasses a holistic approach towards healthy and positive lifestyles and living that extends beyond the life span, however it is a start.”

She continued,” The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs therefore invites you to embark on this journey with us as we rebuild our national health profile and health sector.”

Minister for Health Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste says he is extremely grateful for the campaign, which demonstrates the dedication towards taking action against the impacts of NCDs.

Added Jn. Baptiste: “The aim of St. Lucia moves is to get Saint Lucians physically active to combat conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We extend an invitation to all Saint Lucians to get even more serious about health and wellness.

“I invite all organisations whether religious or sporting, business or recreational, all of us; get active. Let us change the way in which we work and play. Remain active. Let us keep St. Lucia moving.”

The St. Lucia Moves campaign serves as part of the Caribbean Moves initiative that calls for regional commitment focused on tackling NCDs through preventative actions.

Officials within the Ministry of Health also participated in the Caribbean Moves launch which was held at Emancipation Park in Kingston, Jamaica on September, 14.

During this activity, Saint Lucia was recognised for its recent launch of the Saint Lucia Moves campaign ahead of the launch of Caribbean Moves.

Meanwhile last week the

Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs joined in the movement to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), following a Caribbean Wellness Day festival held in the William Peter Boulevard.

The activity focused on ways in which individuals can engage in healthy lifestyles such as nutritious eating, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, being physically active and getting regular health checks.

Dr. Cyr-Philbert spoke on the need to reduce the health risks posed by chronic non-communicable diseases. She feels that celebrating Caribbean Wellness Day provides a great avenue to engage the population in taking action to tackle these diseases.

“Caribbean Wellness Day enables us to face the reality of the great need for wellness of the mind, the body and the soul. We are made aware of the impacts of un-wellness and what we can do to fight disease and death, “she explained.

The acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry said, commemorating Caribbean Wellness Day is the start of a journey toward the overall wellness of citizens.

“The Ministry is committed to placing wellness high on the agenda as we continue to rebuild the health system in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “The Ministry will also seek to establish the necessary synergies between other private and public sector agencies in order to influence or drive policies that promote wellness within the various institutions in society.”

Health Minister Jn. Baptiste reaffirmed government’s commitment.

“As a country we are embarking on health policies which will improve access to affordable and essential healthcare for all,” he said. “The health systems strengthening policy aims to improve both the human resource and infrastructure needs of health systems. The World Bank project through the Performance Based Financing scheme will allow for improved screening of the population and allow for access to essential medicines and lab tests without putting additional burden on the finances of individuals.

Jn. Baptiste added, “We are also working with educators to implement school nutritional policies that will ensure school aged children are allowed to eat healthy foods.”

The Caribbean Wellness Day festival included health discussions, physical activity sessions, and health education and screening, among other activities.

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