Healthy homes make for happy homes - SRHA promotes good health practices among families
With several public health issues and social challenges partially linked to fractured families, there is a call for much-needed support and empowerment of parents and their families in establishing a foundation for health and wellness throughout the homes.
The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), in partnership with the National Association for the Family (NAF), the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the Ministry of National Security, the Church, and other partners, has developed the initiative 'Good Health Begins at Home.
Spearheading the programme, regional technical director at the SRHA Dr Michael Coombs emphasised that the role of parents and caregivers in the promotion of health and wellness in the life of a child has no substitute.
"There are four objectives through partnerships that we'll be looking at: parenting through education and empowerment; promoting and strengthening existing parental marriages; furthering education and empowerment; and developing and implementing holistic male-development interventions."
One component of the initiative has already been implemented and has seen much success with over 300 young men from Knox Community College, St Elizabeth, and neighbouring parishes participating in a 'Man Up' move for healthy, responsible men.
"This initiative concentrates our minds on and invites our actions in lifting the family, the bedrock of a stable society. I believe a healthier nation begins to emerge through the efforts of creating healthier homes. This Man UP component is a good move ... with you, I would like to dream that in time to come, we would look back and be proud that right here in central Jamaica a commitment to change bore fruit," said Coombs.
Subregional Adviser of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation at the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), Dr Karen Lewis-Bell said that though such an initiative might not be new to many, it must be widely embraced.
SUPPORT AND EMPOWER
"For many, the perception may be that the theme 'Good health begins at home' is universally understood and accepted. However, we all know from our observations that this is not the reality in today's society. The Pan-American Health Organisation embraces the principle of promoting good health throughout the life course, taking into account the need to address the societal conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age."
Adviser to the Minister of Education Youth and Information Brittany Singh-Williams also acknowledged that the support of all is needed to help make this initiative a success.
"The home is where the transfer of values, attitudes, self-worth, and healthy lifestyle practices begin. It is vital that we continue to support programmes that support and empower families to translate the values and attitudes to create a better Jamaica ... ."
Speaking at the launch of the initiative held recently, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton admitted that as a country, the curative measures to health care are given more focus than the preventative measures and pledged to endorse the initiative that would change behaviour for greater health and have families becoming more involved.