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World Health Day 2012 Symposium

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Dr. Beverley Barnett delivering her remarks.

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) hosted a symposium in observance of World Health Day 2012, under the theme “Healthy Ageing- Good health adds life to years”.

The PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Beverley Barnett, in her remarks highlighted the need for individuals to be conscious of health every day in order to add life to years.  She outlined that in the past, the main focus of health was adding years to life and the aim was to keep people from dying young and increase life expectancy and longevity, which are still very important today.  She further stated that, “we are never too old for health, and our countries, by making adequate social and health investments now, can promote longer, healthier, and more active lives, while ensuring that ageing populations do not become an economic burden on countries’ development”.  She also indicated that it is important to live quality lives, since the issue is not only adding years to life, but rather adding life to those longer years.



The feature address was given by Member of Parliament, Dr. Vindhya Persaud who outlined, Guyana is aware that healthy ageing can extend life expectancy and enhance the quality of life for the ageing population.  She also made reference to the good work done by the Ministry of Health in helping to alleviate blindness through their impressive program, which caters for those senior citizens who have been assailed by difficulties in vision. In addition, Dr. Persaud said that over two hundred persons had their eyes tested and many of them underwent corrective surgery at the National Ophthalmology Centre in port Mourant.

Presentations on the topics Sexual and Reproductive Health, Men and Ageing and Sexual and Reproductive Health, Women and Ageing were made by Hon. Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Minister of Agriculture and Ms. Beverly Braithwaite-Chan, Chief, Executive Officer, Davis Memorial Hospital respectively.  In these presentations, the sexual and reproductive changes that both men and women experienced as they age were discussed.

Additional presentations were done by Ms Bonita Harris and Dr. Sarah Gordon on the physiological changes that take place in older persons and the importance of healthy lifestyles.
In the various presentations, participants were encouraged to be cognizant of their health and begin to love themselves and treat their bodies well, in order to age gracefully.

It was also highlighted in these presentations that taking good care of your health and ensuring that you eat healthy foods and have adequate and regular exercise will help you to maintain a healthy body .  Dr. Sarah Gordon outlined that at age 20 years and the beginning of 30 years, individuals generally tend not to focus on what they eat, and the general importance of practicing a healthy lifestyle, but as they approach their mid 40’s, they begin to see the expansion of their physical bodies and then this reality triggers them into the realization of the need for exercise and the consumption of a healthy diet.  Participants were encouraged not to wait until they see signs, of deterioration to improve their health, but rather should try to follow healthy practices as part of their daily routine.

World Health Day 2012 emphasized the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which includes physical activities, social engagement and ready access to health care. According to the World Health organization, 81% of persons who are born in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will live to age 60 years, and 42% will live past age 80.  Participants for this activity were drawn from all regions in Guyana.


 Hon. Dr. Leslie Ramsammy delivering his address.

Ms. Beverly Braithwaite-Chan delivering her presentation

 Ms. Bonita Harris fourth from left demonstrating simple exercises for the elderly.


The Ministry of Health in Collaboration with Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) will be hosting a symposium as one of the activities planned for World Health Day 2012.

The theme for World Health Day is " Healthy Ageing-Good health adds life to years"

Presentations will be made on the topics:

(1) Sexual Reproductive Health, Men and Ageing - Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Minister of Agriculture.

(2) Sexual Reproductive Health, Women and Ageing - Ms. Beverly Braithwaite-Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Davis Memorial Hospital.

(3) Physiological Changes in Older Persons - Ms. Bonita Harris, Consultant.

Remarks will be given by Dr. D. Beverley Barnett, PAHO/WHO Representative and Hon. Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, Minister of Health.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 April 2012 15:16

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