Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Jamaica Moves heads to schools

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (left) and Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie

To prevent the nation's youth from acquiring non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Minister of Health Christopher Tufton said the Jamaica Moves programme will be expanded to schools, beginning this month.

Dr Tufton said the Jamaica Moves team will be focusing more on direct contact and engagement with youth.

"Because of the success of the programme, we have all concluded that it must continue and it must expand, so we are going into the schools come this month into next month. It'll be gradual, so the launch will be a soft launch, and the aim is to get our younger population to be more active through physical education," he said.

He noted that some aspects of the intervention in schools will be guided by the new nutrition policy, which will become effective next year.

"Beyond that, the programme will be more active in the workplace. We're going to be pushing a lot of health and wellness programmes. We've already commenced that through the training of instructors, who will be made available to corporate entities to organise health and wellness programmes within the workplace," the minister said.

Dr Tufton pointed out that Jamaica Moves will also continue to focus on community interventions.

"There will be the normal activation in the field at the community level, not just in the town squares, but around health centres in the smaller towns, so expect a lot more from Jamaica Moves and its initiatives," he said.

Jamaica Moves is part of the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which covers seven main categories of diseases - cardiovascular conditions, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, sickle cell, mental health disorders and chronic renal failure.

The campaign was launched in April 2017 and focuses on community-level interventions to facilitate increased physical activity among the population.

In 2017, Jamaica Moves hosted its inaugural Corporate Challenge, where members of the private sector were encouraged to form teams; register with the campaign; and participate in ongoing activities, including six 5K races on the national race calendar.