World Health Day 2022 “Our Planet, Our Health” Health Fair and Walk organized by PAHO and Suriname Ministry of Health with participation of UN agencies

Warmup at the health fair prior to the walk

Group warm-up session during the Wan Gesontu Libi Health Fair & Walk

Paramaribo, Suriname, 15 May, 2022 (PAHO) - As a part of World Health Day 2022 that was commemorated on 7 April, a joint effort was made, spearheaded by PAHO along with other UN agencies (UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP), the Ministry of Health and Bureau of Public Health to organize a one-day Health Fair & Walk with theme “Wan Gesontu Libi” (One Healthy life in the local Surinamese dialect).

The event commenced with speeches by representatives of PAHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the Ministry of Health. It was emphasized that everyone must contribute to "a healthy earth, a clean environment, and a healthy climate." The Minister of Health, Amar Ramadhin added that “it is pointless to exercise, to not smoke, if we are still victims of natural disasters caused by ourselves and human impact.”

Minister of Health & PWR Suriname during the walk

The Minister of Health Amar Ramadhin and the PAHO/WHO Representative Suriname Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell during the 5km Walk

The PAHO/WHO Representative reminded participants during this day that

“As individuals, we can contribute to the protection of our planet and our health by making healthy choices…by walking or cycling to places when possible, using less plastic, buying fresh local produce and making use of health screening services and preventive interventions like vaccination.”

There were several types of informational and creative booths present, and participants were also provided with the opportunity to get free blood pressure measurement as well as the COVID-19 vaccination at the fair. 

Fitness challenge during the health walk

A group fitness and push-up challenge during the 5km walk

An interactive session was held through a creative art booth which allowed participants to collectively paint on a large canvas, segments of a picture depicting the theme of World Health Day. In addition, to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, a 5km health walk throughout the city center was held with several fitness challenges along the way.

The day was concluded with the distribution of vegetable plants to all the participants to plant at home, encouraging “a healthy earth, a clean environment, and a healthy climate”.

Background World Health Day

Each year, a theme is chosen that highlights an area of priority concern for the World Health Organization (WHO). In the face of the current pandemic, a polluted planet, and an increasing incidence of diseases, the theme for World Health Day 2022 was Our Planet, Our Health. This call from PAHO, the WHO, and partners, presented a unique opportunity for a green and healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that puts the health of individuals and the planet at the center of action and fosters a movement to create societies focused on well-being.

A large canvas of an art piece depicting the theme of World Health Day, where the middle puzzle pieces were painted by participants