September 12 is Caribbean Wellness Day

Greater Georgetown, Guyana – The Caribbean Community Secretariat will once again join Member States within the Community to observe Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) on Saturday September 12, 2009 as CARICOM seeks to promote healthy lifestyle through physical activity.

Among the slate of activities proposed for the Secretariat for the week of September 7-12 are a lifestyle management seminar, a soca-erobathon,’ a ‘walk good; walk healthy’ day, health checks and healthy cooking demonstrations.

The observance of Caribbean Wellness Day was one of the decisions taken when the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government – deeply concerned about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and cancer – met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 15 September 2007 to design a plan of action to stop the epidemic of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The first Wellness Day was observed last year on September 13 and showcased national and community level activities which promoted healthy living and encouraged residents to develop good health practices. Among the activities proposed for the day were the introduction of vehicle-free streets and smoke-free environments to provide opportunities and safe spaces for physical activity and healthy eating, free from exhaust emissions tobacco smoke and other pollutants.

This year, Caribbean Civil society and particularly members of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition have been invited to take the lead in planning and executing activities within their country. The slogan for CWD is still LOVE THAT BODY with particular emphasis being placed on physical activity in workplaces, schools and faith-based organizations.

A media campaign will also be launched with simple messages appealing to Caribbean citizens to avoid tobacco use; exercise for at least 30 minutes daily; eat less salt and less fat and dried foods; check blood pressure regularly and avoid harmful use of alcohol.

For further information contact the CWD Coordinator in your Ministry of Health or Dr. Alafia Samuels at

All members of the Coalition and member organizations are specially encouraged to take a very active part in CWD. Send information on your plans for celebrating CWD in your country to the CARICOM Secretariat, and we will share them with members of the coalition.

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