“Building healthy communities for everyone” is the theme for Wellness Week. Dr. Jorge Polanco, the Non-Communicable Diseases Focal Point for PAHO said that wellness is key in promoting health.
Dr Jorge Polanco NOn Communicable Diseases Focal Point: “Promoting wellness should be an underlying strategy. This was the original idea when it was born in the Caribbean; not only for the health sector to look at the diseases and trying to put a cure and management to diseases but to focus on creating and addressing these risks responsible for diseases and at the same time putting in place mechanisms that would keep the population healthy. Let me use and example, for example a very common disease that is related to nutritional patterns is diabetes so it’s not just a matter of having the best drugs for diabetes and the best secondary care and hospital services for the complications of diabetes but the idea is to have in place behaviors to promote health behaviors that would keep the population healthy and at the same time preventing them from getting the disease of diabetes so that is the focus to promote those good behaviors. Those nutritional patterns; it also includes physical activity that would keep the population healthy.”
Dr. Polanco said there is a health initiative being embarked upon to promote health and create healthy spaces.
Dr Jorge Polanco NOn Communicable Diseases Focal Point: “Along with the Ministry of Health and the Mayor’s Association we are planning to enter into an agreement with the different municipalities. This is being done through the Association of Mayors; an agreement whereby at the level of municipalities they would have parks that promote wellness. We are aware that a lot of effort has been done in the creation of parks and one of the advantages and benefits that we see is to convert these spaces into wellness parks. In other words invite the population, the young adults, the children to visit, to do physical activity to do sports. The intention is on specific days on programed activities there would be access to information on what is healthy food, information as to the sports competitions that would be a sponsored by the municipalities and of course the private sector would be welcomed to participate in these activities.
Similar initiatives are being conducted in the region to promote wellness.