PAHO, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Partners host community outreach activity

World Health Day Wellness Fair in Barbados
PAHO/Brenda Lashley

Bridgetown, Barbados, 15 April 2024 (PAHO) -  Free health checks, health information and sporting activities were provided to the public when the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Ministry of Health and Wellness and other partners hosted a community outreach event in celebration of World Health Day which is celebrated annually on April 7th.

During the World Health Day Wellness Day Event, the public heard from PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, Dr. Amalia Del Riego, who said this year’s theme My Health, My Right “encapsulates a profound truth—that health is not a privilege reserved for a fortunate few, but a fundamental right for all.”

Dr. Del Riego stressed that “everyone everywhere regardless of their age, gender, colour of our skin, social standing, or educational attainments should all have access to health services, education, and information as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.”

Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Hon. Davidson Ishmael, described Barbados as “having a burden of NCDs that is causing us some concern from an economic and financial perspective but also from a social perspective and a developmental perspective.”

NCDs were described as a priority area for government and the Minister said it is a right for Barbadians to have quality health care.

The World Health Day Wellness Fair was hosted at the Barbados Defence Force Mobile Field Medical Hospital and featured several booths that carried out health screening and health education sessions by several partners including the Ross University, the Nurses Association, Healthy Caribbean Coalition, Heart and Stroke Foundation the Diabetes Association and other partners.

PAHO provided the public with mounted displays with health information, health brochures and attracted dozens who took part in an educational game. The Ministry of Health and Wellness conducted nutrition counselling and featured fitness instructors who led various workout sessions. Ross University students and faculty, as well as nurses derived from the island’s polyclinics and a local optometrist, provided health checks. Coaches and players of the National Sports Council engaged the public in games such as Badminton, draughts, road tennis, chess, and dominoes.

The day concluded with entertainment by Red Plastic Bag.

Credit: PAHO/Brenda Lashley - From left - Dr. Taraleen Malcolm, PAHO Advisor, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health; Mr. Neil Murrell, Director of the National Sports Council; Dr. Rhonda McIntyre, Senior Associate Dean External Affairs, Ross University; Mr. Wayne Marshall, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Hon Davidson Ishmael, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Dr. Amalia Del Riego, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries; Ms. Donna Barker, Senior Health Promotion Officer (Ag.), Ministry of Health and Wellness and Major David Clarke, Honorary Aide-de-Camp/Force Medical Liaison Officer, Barbados Defence Force
Credit: PAHO/Brenda Lashley
Credit: PAHO/Brenda Lashley