NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — The Nevis Health Promotion Unit (HPU) in the Ministry of Health is encouraging members of the public to participate in activities being organised for Caribbean Wellness Day observed annually on the second Saturday in September. The day seeks to draw awareness to non-communicable diseases in communities across the Caribbean.
This year’s activities are being scaled back to four due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Shevanee Nisbett, Senior Health Educator at the unit, in an interview with the Department of Information on August 30, 2021, urged the public to participate in the tailored activities.
“I’m asking everyone to continue to support the Health Promotion Unit as we fight the non -communicable diseases in our community and the Caribbean and worldwide by taking part in our activities this year. The Caribbean Wellness Day overall theme is “Power through collective action” and the theme for 2021 is “In it together: Building healthy communities.”
“We are asking that persons please participate as usual and of course for all of our activities as well as the walk. All of the COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to. We ask that you come with your mask on. We ask that you bring your water. We ask that you social distance when you are there, whether we are exercising to warm up or when we are walking as well as hand sanitizers should be used,” she said.
Ms. Nisbett stated that there are four activities planned for this year.
“We have a few activities that would be highlighting Caribbean Wellness Day. The first one would be the Caribbean Wellness Yoga Series where we will have yoga happening on three Saturdays throughout the month…
“Our new activity this year which we have used to incorporate the COVID-19 protocols…we have created a campaign called “Let’s Face It: Wear a Mask.” … On Friday, September 10th is our annual Sneaker Day, and Sneaker Day turns 5 this year. So we are doing a little twist with it… Our last activity would be our Caribbean Wellness Walk which is our annual walk,” she said.
The yoga sessions will commence on Saturday, September 04 at the Nevisian Heritage Village. On September 18 and 25 the sessions will be held at the Nevis Artisan Village and at Fort Charles respectively. All sessions will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 8 a.m.
For the “Let’s Face It: Wear a Mask” challenge which specifically targets primary and secondary school students, they are to design masks which carry a health message which can be depicted in pictures or words and must be in a JPG or PNG format. All entries, one per participant, must be submitted via email to: email@example.com
For Sneaker Day which is in its 5th year, members of the public are asked to wear sneakers to work, school or casually to run errands, or just going about their day. That event is in effort to promote persons wearing comfortable shoes while encouraging them to be more active.
However, this year participants are being asked to be creative and design their masks and sneakers in colour or style making it part of their creative outfit for the day. Persons who take part in this event are asked to take a photograph with their sneakers on and post it to Nevis Hpu Facebook page using hashtags – #sneakerday2021, #maskon, #CashlessSKN. The most creative entrant will be awarded a prize.
For the Caribbean Wellness Day walk on Saturday, September 11, it will begin from at 5:30 a.m. with warm up exercises. The actual walk will commence at 6 a.m. from the entrance of Yachtsman Grill in Cotton Ground, moving along the Island Main Road through Charlestown and end at the Villa Grounds.
Ms. Nisbett explained how Nevis got involved in the observance of Caribbean Wellness Day which was created by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to bring awareness to non-communicable diseases which she stated are burdening the health systems of the Caribbean.
“Every year we do a list of activities that would highlight non-communicable diseases, the effects it has on the community and what we can do to treat and prevent non-communicable diseases such as: hypertension, cancer, high cholesterol and diabetes for example,” she said.