Prime Minister Harris congratulates Ministry of Health for organizing a successful wellness walk

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 14, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — On the occasion of Caribbean Wellness Day, observed on Saturday September 14 under the theme ‘Healthy Aging Starts Now’, the Ministry of Health and SKN Moves in collaboration with the 2019 Independence Committee organised a wellness walk that took participants from the War Memorial in Fortlands, walking along Bay Road, to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in Bird Rock, and back.

Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and CARICOM’s Lead Spokesperson on Human Resource, Health and HIV matters, who was one of the participants that braved the inclement weather that was characterised by downpours to finish the walk, has praised the Ministry of Health for its commitment to ensure people live healthy lives.

Prime Minister Harris, who was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Shawn Richards, commended the team of Ministry of Health workers, and singled out the Permanent Secretary Mrs Deloris Stapleton-Harris, and the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Programme Coordinators in the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit at the Ministry of Health, Dr Marissa Carty.

“We saw a very representative team of employees from the Ministry of Health that came out in support of Wellness Day,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Wellness Day is something that all of us in the Caribbean are attempting to encourage, hence Caribbean Moves, Jamaica Moves, SKN Moves. Indeed I think later this year we are going to get a chapter, Nevis Moves, going as part of the more strengthening of the commitment to ensure that people live healthy lives.”

According to Dr Harris, healthy lives are by and large characterised by physical activity, and the walk was one of them. He pointed out that it did not matter if the activity is in the form of a run, a game of basketball, football or netball, swimming, jogging or mountaineering. He also advised on healthy diets that should be low in sugar, salt, and alcohol, and for one to be selective in terms of the kinds of meat and the portions which they eat.

Also taking part in the walk were the Minister of State for Health the Hon Wendy Phipps; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr William Vincent Hodge; Director of Culture Mr Troy Mills; President of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association, Nurse Christine Wattley; and Public Relations Officer of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association, Dr Reginald O’Loughlin.

Due to heavy showers in the morning the walk started at 5:50 am after the participants were addressed by Dr Marissa Carty. But before they got to the public market the skies opened and a heavy downpour interrupted the activity. The walk resumed but some showers along the way persisted and a number of walkers would have dropped out, but the showers were ignored by the determined walkers some who had carried umbrellas. During the walk, Prime Minister Harris took time to exchange pleasantries with farmers and fishers at the public market.

“A significant number of persons completed the walk from start to finish, and I think that is the kind of endurance, perseverance and commitment we want from a programme like this, and that speaks well to its continuity,” pointed out Prime Minister Harris.

He congratulated SKN Moves and the Ministry of Health for another successful action and for their public education and awareness “to ensure that the message that our health is our wealth and that each of us can do and must do something to advance our health. That message is catching up.”

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