Guyana: This morning, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, the Ministry of Health, in commemoration of Caribbean Wellness Week, hosted a Health Symposium under the theme, “Healthy Individuals, Communities and Organisations”. The theme of this symposium is also in accordance with the Wellness Week 2022 theme, which says, “Our Neighborhood, Our Health”.
Caribbean Wellness Week, which is celebrated by CARICOM countries, began in 2011 and was inspired by Caribbean Wellness Day, which is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of September each year. It provides an opportunity to emphasize the importance of health promotion for the well-being of individuals and communities, prevent and control the epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and promote a positive vision of health.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Guyana, Brigadier (Retd) Mark Phillips, during his feature address this morning, said that it is important to note that an unhealthy population will have negative impacts on the development of Guyana. Thus, the Government of Guyana has made substantial investments to ensure that every Guyanese has access to free healthcare. The Prime Minister further made mentioned the US$30 million dollar project that is currently in progress with Mount Sinai for the improvement of the healthcare sector, along with investments made for the construction of six (6) new regional hospitals that will soon be constructed in regions two, three, four, five and six.
In closing, Prime Minister Phillips said that citizens must be encouraged to embrace a healthy lifestyle and called on both public and private institutions to work together to foster an environment where healthy practices are emphasized.
In his brief remarks, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, said that it is important here in Guyana for people to not only see healthcare as something you seek when you are already ill but as a vital aspect of our lives which can, in fact, prevent us from contracting certain illnesses. Dr Anthony further stated that there are a few simple lifestyle changes that individuals can make in an effort to live a healthy and fulfilling life. These tips included a healthy diet, moderate exercise, stress control, adequate rest, minimal alcohol consumption, not smoking and regular medical checkups.
Ms Helen Royer; The Director of Human Development within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in brief remarks, gave a charge to those present, encouraging them to work together to promote the positive evolvement of the Region through conscious decisions that will support the well-being of individuals and neighbourhoods.
Additionally, the Wellness Charter was signed by the Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Public Service, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and other dignitaries.
Also present at today’s activities were Minister of the Public Service, Sonia Parag, Ms Yesim Oruç; Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Sarah- Ann Lynch; United States Ambassador to Guyana, Dr Luis Felipe Codina; Pan American Health Organisation Representative in Guyana, Colonel Nazrul Hussain; Director of the Civil Defense Commission, Directors and other officials of the Ministry of Health, students within the healthcare sector and members of the public.