Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness is encouraging Jamaicans to commit to 30 minutes of physical activity every day in order to improve their health and reduce the risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCD).
“I want to encourage you all to get the message out that ‘Jamaica Moves’. We are going to do our 30 minutes of exercise every day and I hope that this will keep the doctors away,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the awards ceremony for the CARICOM road race held on Saturday (July 7) in the Montego Bay.
The race, which included a 5k and 10k component, followed the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which took place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from July 4-6.
Prime Minister Holness, who is Chairman of CARICOM, said that NCDs pose a significant threat to the health of the people across the Caribbean and called on the gathering to commit to physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits.
“You don’t have to do a 10K, you don’t even have to do a 5K. Just 30 minutes of light exercise, walking, stretching for those of you who like yoga, for those of you who can do push-ups, for those of you who can do stretching or just dancing …can stave off many of these non-communicable diseases,” he pointed out.
In addition to promoting physical activity, the Prime Minister said the annual race/walk is also about bringing Caribbean athletes and people together.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, informed that the region’s leaders are considering a CARICOM/Caribbean Moves initiative, similar to Jamaica Moves.
He said that further details of the initiative will be announced.
Jamaica Moves is part of the National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which covers seven main categories of diseases – cardiovascular conditions, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, sickle cell, mental health disorders and chronic renal failure.
The campaign also focuses on community-level interventions to facilitate increased physical activity among the population.
Dr. Tufton said that Ministers of Health of the Caribbean are concerned about obesity levels, which are “the highest among the regions of the world.”
“Sixty per cent of our Caribbean people die from NCDs. The way to address that is prevention first and prevention means diet, exercise and knowing your health status and that is what Jamaica Moves is about,” he noted.
It was the 13th staging of the CARICOM road race, coordinated by the CARICOM Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
About 300 persons, including leaders from across the region, registered for the event.
Source: JIS News