Bridgetown, Barbados, 7 April (PAHO/WHO) Staff of the Barbados office of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today came together to start a kitchen garden and take part in a quiz to mark World Health Day under the theme, Our Planet, Our Health.
With many staff not working from the office for just over two years because of the pandemic, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the ECC, Dr Yitades Gebre, welcomed staff from the ECC, SPC and PHE offices back to the compound and to the event. He highlighted the importance of the theme.
“As the Director stated this morning, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fault lines of inequity across the world, underlining the urgency for creating sustainable, well-being societies which do not breach ecological limits, and which ensure that all people have access to live-saving and live-enhancing tools, systems, policies and environments. Through the ‘Our planet, our health’ campaign, we are calling on governments, organizations, corporations, and citizens to share actions they are taking to protect the planet and human health,” Dr Gebre shared.
In agreeing, Subregional Program Director, Mr. Dean Chambliss shared some of the progress that had been made under the EU CARIFORUM Strengthening Climate Resilient Health Systems in the Caribbean project.
“Due to its achievements, this has become a showcase project for PAHO in the Caribbean. Just during the past six months, significant progress was made across the areas of planning, assessments, training, and implementation of initiatives to mitigate the effects of climate change on health… Sustainable decisions can also be made at the individual level to protect our planet and our health. Each of us can speak up and demand healthful climate actions and policies from our leaders. We can make impactful individual decisions: walk more often or take a bicycle ride to your destination to reduce your carbon footprint. Use more renewable energy sources at home and identify how you can recycle and reduce material waste…And as we are doing here today, plant more of your own foods,” Mr Chambliss urged.
It was then time to test the staff’s knowledge around the impacts of climate change on our health and clean air, water and food. It soon became clear who was listening to the speeches. Team two emerged as the winners after a rapid-fire tie-breaker round. The winning team won a gift basket of gardening tools to help them to maintain their crops.
We then moved to mark World Health Day and our 120th Anniversary with a group photo and then it was time to plant. Have a look as the team as they planted kale, lettuce, parsley, marjoram, celery, eggplant and Chinese cabbage. Now the race is on to see who will reap first. Happy World Health Day from the PAHO Barbados office.