St Kitts and Nevis joins regional health, wellness initiative
Another regional territory has officially joined the Caribbean Moves initiative with the launch of St Kitts and Nevis Moves (SKN Moves), aided by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
Following Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which are already members of Caribbean Moves, the initiative will build on the experience of Jamaica Moves which promotes physical activity, healthy eating and health checks at the level of the school, workplace and community. It will contribute to one of the goals of the CARICOM Heads of Government to change the Caribbean culture towards a lifestyle of regular physical activity and healthier diets.
Held at Independence Square, Basseterre, the launch included remarks from officials such as Dr Hazel Laws, the country’s chief medical officer; Dr Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness; Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health in St Kitts; Senator Wendy Phipps and St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.
“Like the bright and dancing flame of a vibrant candle blown out by a sudden draught of wind, many young and middle-aged lives are snuffed out, leaving us bereft of their light and love that are gone too soon because of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” said Harris.
While his speech highlighted the grave effects NCDs have had on the country, the launch was not “all talk”.
Yoga, socacise, step aerobics, health checks and nutrition education were free to the public to kickstart the movement. The following day, a large turnout of excited supporters joined the prime minister, Tufton and other health officials on a four-mile, 5 a.m. health walk.
“As Caribbean people with similar experiences and challenges, we have to work together to take care better of ourselves so that we have a better quality of life. It is important that we have fun while we exercise, whether running, swimming or hiking, cycling. I am proud of St Kitts and Nevis for joining the initiative; welcome aboard the fight to beat NCDs,” said Tufton.
The overall goal of SKN Moves is to achieve a 10 per cent reduction in preventable premature deaths due to NCDs, such as diabetes and hypertension and their resulting complications by 2025.
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