Marketing and Communications Manager
BVI Health Services Authority
The Ministry of Health and Social Development continues to encourage community based physical activity as a means of achieving a healthier Virgin Islands through its Run/Walk for Health programme.
The goal of the programme is to encourage persons to engage in regular physical activity and is a joint collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and the BVI Olympic Committee.
The Coordinator of Health Promotions Services. Ms. Ivy George explained that promoting physical activity for health and well-being is an integral part of the plan of action for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.
The run/walk programme is comprised of the 10,000 steps per day and community based walking groups and is a part of an overall effort to introduce a comprehensive, integrated programme to help improve the quality of health of persons in the Virgin Islands across the life cycle.
Ms. George outlined in a recent interview, that the programme is vital because regular physical activity is important for good health. She added that may persons are not doing enough physical activity to keep them healthy or delay the onset of chronic non-communicable diseases according to the results of the Steps Survey conducted in 2009.
The Steps Survey which targeted adults between the ages of 25 and 64 focused on four behavioral risk factors which are inadequate namely: physical activity, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. These risk factors could make one more vulnerable to developing high blood pressure, becoming obese, high blood glucose, and high cholesterol.
Ms. George said the ministry will be putting in place a comprehensive and cost effective programme that focuses on the population. She further explained that the role the community plays is vital to the sustainability of the run/walk programme. Community involvement she outlined will help to ensure that there is sustainability of programmes as well as community ownership.
An invitation is extended to the community to tune into CBN channel 51 from January 9-23 to learn more about the run/walk programme. The dates are as follows:
Monday to Thursday at 7:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Friday at 10:00 a.m. or 5:15 p.m.
Saturday at 10:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m.
Interested persons can contact the Ministry of Health and Social Development at 468-2273.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development has implemented a 10-year strategy to improve the health and well being of the population and reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The strategy prioritises prevention by integrating policies and action across multiple settings where people live, play and work to improve health and save lives.