Jamaica News: The nation’s children are being encouraged to take steps to safeguard their health.
This urging comes from State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, who notes that a significant number of persons are falling victim to unhealthy lifestyles.
He contended that if children resort to taking care of their bodies, they will practise healthy living during adulthood.
“What we want our young people to do is understand the importance of treating [their bodies] right. Love your bodies, because the life that you are saving is your own,” the State Minister said.
He was the keynote speaker at the official launch of National School Moves Day at Eltham High School in St. Catherine on April 5.
The Health and Education Ministries collaborated to stage the event under the theme: ‘Love Yuh Body…Treat Yuh Body Right’.
The initiative aims to heighten awareness of and generate increased participation in physical activities throughout the school community as well as target a reduction in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Acting Director of Health Promotion and Protection at the Health Ministry, Dr. Simone Spence, told the gathering that the initiative is significant in light of a recent survey indicating that only 32.5 per cent of Jamaican high-school students are involved in healthy physical activities. Further, that 23.6 per cent of the nation’s children are overweight, while 9.3 per cent are obese.
“The goal of the programme is to create a healthier environment within the school community, and is a direct response to addressing the risk factors which perpetuate NCDs among our children and young people,” Dr. Spence said.
She noted that the initiative, which is part of the Jamaica Moves in Schools Programme, will help children to be physically active, and provides an opportunity to demonstrate the importance and “simplicity” of physical activity, adding that future generations will be “healthier and strong”.
The National School Moves Day initiative also aims to transform the school environment into a healthy setting for learning and working.
As part of the programme’s sustainability, schools will continue to plan and stage events for promoting physical activities throughout the year.