Caribbean Wellness Day 2013

This year, Caribbean Wellness Day will be observed on Saturday, 14 September and it marks the sixth anniversary of the initiative. Inaugurated in 2008, Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) is an annual event, observed on the second Saturday of September.


Caribbean Wellness Day provides an advocacy opportunity to increase the awareness of the NCD burden in the Caribbean; mobilise and strengthen public, private, and civil society partnerships for NCDs; promote multicountry, multisectoral activities in support of wellness; and to showcase national and community level activities to promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop good health practices.  


In 2012, a decision was taken to mainstream CWD observations into national NCD programming to focus CWD observations on addressing NCDs throughout the life course –


2012 the focus on children under the theme ‘building the foundation for building healthy lifestyles’;


2013, the focus on YOUTH ages 15-29 under the theme ‘safeguarding the health of our youth for a brighter future’;


2014 the focus will be on Adults the workforce for national and Regional development;


2015 improving the quality of life of the Regions ageing population.


This approach presents an opportunity to focus the CWD observations and guide year long programming focusing on a specific target population group towards the realisation of the goals of the Port-of-Spain 2007 Declaration and 2001 Nassau Declaration as articulated in the Regional health mandate – the Caribbean Cooperation for Health III.


The Port-of-Spain Declaration specifically identifies best buy actions and population settings for such interventions as well as identifies specific target population groups. The need to address NCD risk factors among the Caribbean population particularly YOUTH, is tantamount to disaster preparedness. NCDs are not only an adult problem, while it is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among our adult population in the Caribbean it is during the early years of childhood, adolescence and youth adulthood that the conditions for NCDs later in life are either fostered or prevented.


In this regard, Member States are encouraged not only to focus the observations and programming on youth, but more so to incorporate youth representation in their CWD planning committees and to collaborate with Ministries that are responsible for youth, youth groups and clubs within schools, faith based organizations or civil society. The objective is to engage our Regions youth in the context of the Regional Strategy for Youth Development and the Paramaribo Declaration on the Future of youth in the Caribbean community, to advocate for and participate in the development and delivery of health initiatives and interventions that will address the prevention and control of NCDs among the Region’s youth.


The recommended multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary response to addressing NCDs among YOUTH for a successful comprehensive approach will be presented by a representative from the CARICOM Secretariat.

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