The activities will actually run throughout the month of September, though Wellness Day is officially on the second Saturday in the month, which was this past weekend, (8th September).
The focus, said organizers, will be on the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Some of the events planned will see the Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Sandy Point hosting a health fair on 16th September, at a venue to be announced shortly, while the Cayon Health Centre will host its annual community outreach, on 21st September.
Various services will be made available to members of the general public, who are allowed to visit and avail themselves of free screening for blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index (an indicator of obesity) and HIV.
The theme for this year’s observation is ‘Love that body.’
The Minister of Health, Ms. Marcella Liburd, while commenting on the day, stated that the theme reminds about personal responsibility to be good stewards of one’s bodies, to exercise right, to make healthy choices -such as engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, abstaining from smoking and harmful use and abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Liburd said the optimal early nutrition for babies is breast milk and her ministry advocates for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as breastfed infants have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea.
Last year in September, St Kitts and Nevis participated in the high level meeting in New York, to discuss the global priority actions needed to impact on the rising prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.
The Health Minister said, since then, a global strategy to prevent and control chronic non communicable diseases has been developed and will be presented to Heads of Government this month, and a plan of action that amplifies the strategies outlined in the global strategy will be completed in 2013, along with a global monitoring framework to monitor progress towards the achievement of various targets and indicators.
“Locally we have adapted the regional framework and produced a draft Non Communicable Disease (NCD) policy and strategic plan that will guide our actions for the next five years. This will be submitted to Cabinet shortly for endorsement and approval,” Liburd said.
Chronic non communicable diseases and risk factors are everywhere and threaten to increase the number of potential life years lost through disability if not adequately and aggressively addressed.
She added “As individuals and as a society, we have a moral duty to contribute to the national response to improve our nation’s health through decisive and effective action. Together we can turn the tide on chronic non communicable diseases one person at a time.”