Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health
A photo exhibition on Wellness Week, celebrated from September 16th to the 21st, was presented on the evening of Monday, September 17th, in the central building of the Organization of American States (OAS). In attendance was Dr. Mirta Roses, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Margaret Chan, General Director of the World Health Organization, José Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the OAS, and Bheri Ramsaran, Minister of Health of Guyana, among other authority figures of the Americas and of organizations such as the World Economic Forum.The exhibition shows different people of the Americas living active and healthy lives, just like during last year’s Wellness Week celebrations, which occurred within the framework of the United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.
“The silent epidemic of non-communicable diseases, which has devastating economic, social, and health effects, is one of those challenges that demand a collective, consensual effort so that it can be overcome,” affirmed Dr. Roses. “On the one hand, it is necessary to adopt effective public policies, but we should also be motivated to make changes in our individual conduct which is essential to prevent illnesses,” she added. Dr. Roses indicated that the photo exhibit shows that all people can do something to prevent illnesses.
Wellness Week began with an initiative of Caribbean countries to celebrate Wellness Day every 13th of September to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases and the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent them. It was celebrated last year in the framework of the United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, where international authority figures discussed these diseases’ impact and preventive measures.