Tue | Jun 15, 2021

St Mary observes Caribbean Wellness Day

Published:Saturday | September 14, 2019 | 12:11 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Sherry-Gay Campbell Chung, a community health aide stationed at the Port Maria Health Centre, checks the blood pressure of a senior citizen who turned out during Caribbean Wellness Day.
Sherry-Gay Campbell Chung, a community health aide stationed at the Port Maria Health Centre, checks the blood pressure of a senior citizen who turned out during Caribbean Wellness Day.

Under the theme ‘Healthy Ageing Begins Now,’ the St Mary Health Department celebrated Caribbean Wellness Day 2019 on Wednesday with a ceremony at the Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria.

The event, which is being celebrated across the Caribbean today, was brought forward by the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) and was well supported.

Designed for persons 60 years and older, the event drew residents from across St Mary, who benefited from free health checks, including blood pressure, blood sugar, and HIV tests and checks for sexually transmitted infections.

Sandals Foundation played a major role in the event, offering free ‘pampering’ to both males and females, such as facials, pedicures, manicures, barbering, and head and neck massages.

“Jamaica has been experiencing a demographic transition, with an increase noted in the older age groups. This is backed up by studies done by leading public-health specialists in the field,” said a release from NERHA citing figures from the 2011 census as reason for focusing on the 60-and-over age group.

That 2011 census pointed to an increase in the over-60 population and a decrease in the under-15 age group.

This initiative forms part of NERHA’s call to action to increase access to critical services by the elderly and to help tackle the non-communicable diseases that are plaguing the 60-and-over population. These diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancers.

“As we deliver healthcare in the parish, we continue to work towards ensuring that all age cohorts are healthy people living healthy lifestyles in a healthy environment,” NERHA stated.

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