HSA offers healthier lifestyles

The Public Health Department will offer free blood pressure checks at all the District Health Centres, George Town General Practice unit, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman clinics through Thursday as part of activities leading up to World Health Day 2007 on 7 April.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar says the free health screenings are part of the key strategies of the Public Health Department to emphasize the benefits of healthy lifestyles and early detection of health issues such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes which will enable appropriate treatment in preventing the complications.

‘The WHO’s theme for World Health Day 2007: Invest in Health; Build A Safer Future highlights the importance of cooperate and personal responsibility at all levels for in securing a healthy future for our people’ said Mr. Kumar. ‘To secure that future can only come when individuals are fully aware of their risks through screening and are willing to lead healthy lifestyles.’

Each year on 7 April, the world celebrates World Health Day under the auspices of the World Health Organization. The World Health Day is celebrated to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the WHO. It also marks the founding of the World Health Organization.

It is common knowledge that half of all leading causes of death are as a result of lifestyle factors. This means that making wise personal choices in health practices can significantly decrease the risk for disease and enhance the quality of life.

It is in light of this context that the Health Services Authority supports a comprehensive workplace health and wellness programme with an aim of initiating positive change in diet, physical fitness and stress management, thus minimizing the risk factors for lifestyle diseases.

Earlier last year, the Ministry of Health and Human Services piloted this programme among Ministry staff followed by the Health Services Authority. Encouraged by the results of the pilot programmes the Public Health Department has now embarked to assist businesses in organizing their own health and wellness programme Take the Challenge: Be Fit, Stay Healthy.

The 90-day programme provides the support, knowledge and skills to begin the process of change and assist individuals to meet short-term health goals. Participants will be challenged to adhere to specific goals and an agreed set of objectives which will be set and discussed with their facilitators.

‘To date there has been an overwhelming response to the programme. We are able to organize the programme for Ogier and the Ministry of Finance. However, due to the increasing demand, instead of waiting until there is availability to arrange this programme in its entirety, we are planning to offer health screenings and three facilitated sessions on diet, exercise, and stress management to each interested groups’ said Therese Prehay Health Promotion Officer.

For further information on the Be Fit Stay Healthy programme and how your business can participate , please contact Therese Prehay Health Promotion Officer by phone at 244-2632 or by email at therese.prehay@hsa.ky

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