Dozens of persons including supporters from PAHO and the University of Guyana, on Saturday joined the Ministry of Health and its Wellness Warriors on a health walk to heighten awareness about non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
According to a report from the Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA), the group walked from Fifth Street, Cummings Lodge to the university’s Turkeyen campus. UG Registrar Vincent Alexander said that the ministry has been raising awareness about lifestyle diseases for some time and urged the public to find out the causes and pay keen attention to their diets in order to prevent disease. “Work needs to be done to make the society conscious of adopting a healthy life style to deal with issues of obesity, high alcohol consumption levels, smoking etc,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran said the university will have the opportunity to shine in the strategic partnership of raising awareness of NCDs. He announced that in September, Guyana will be observing Caribbean Wellness Day for one week. PAHO Director Clarissa Etienne is expected to attend this event. The health walk was one of the first activities leading to the week-long celebrations.
Dr Ramsaran also said that on September 12, the National Presidential Commission on NCDs will be launched as well as the Wellness Warriors with preliminary emphasis being placed on young people in schools, UG and other places.
UG Vice Chancellor Jacob Opadeyi said the activity is very important as a lot can be done to prevent NCDs. He also said that the university is partnering with the Confucius Institute to bring a professor of Chinese medicine onto the campus.
The “university is looking into ensuring that all students are medically tested before they enter the campus,” he said, adding that this is “to make the university aware of each student’s medical status but the findings will not hinder a student’s admittance to the university.” Further, well qualified lecturers from PAHO will assist in teaching at the university’s health science faculty, Opadeyi said.