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Healthy start

High turnout expected for Observer health symposium

BY ANIKA RICHARDS Associate editor — news richardsai@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2017    

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Interest

in the Jamaica Observer Your Health Your Wealth Symposium is high as a record number of people have already indicated that they will attend today’s inaugural event.

Set for a 3:30 pm start at the Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, Jamaicans are seemingly eager to access the wealth of health information and complimentary health checks that will be available.

Cancer survivor Rockell Clarke told the


Observer yesterday that she is looking forward to today’s symposium.

“I love the fact that the symposium is free and that it is open to the public,” she said. “The topics to be discussed are also close to home, so I am using the event as my opportunity to get involved since the country appears to be very interested in exercise and health at this time.”

Douglas is one of the more than 100 people who are expected to turn out today.

For

Observer Executive Editor – Publications Vernon Davidson deciding to host the symposium was a no-brainer.

“The health of our nation is everybody’s business,” Davidson declared. “We therefore decided to take the bold step of going beyond the pages of our newspaper to host this inaugural event, placing a spotlight on noncommunicable diseases, the treatment of which is costing our country millions.

“It is our intention to use today’s event as a launch pad for a series of similar events that will force our countrymen to keep their health and well-being at the forefront of their minds. After all, your health is your wealth,” he said.

With the Government announcing a few weeks ago that the Ministry of Health spends more than US$170 million per year to treat noncommunicable diseases, today’s health symposium is aptly timed, said another member of the public who registered for the event which is being sponsored by Seprod though its Serge Milk, as well as the Spanish Court Hotel and Main Event Entertainment Group Limited.

According to the World Health Organisation, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide.

Being hosted in partnership with the Jamaica Cancer Society, the Diabetes Association of Jamaica and the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, the

Observer health symposium will focus on diabetes, sudden cardiac death and cancer.

There will be an array of presenters looking at issues such as: The role of the general practitioner in dealing with major illnesses; diabetes and young people; cancer in Jamaica; as well as lifestyle, heart attack and sudden cardiac death.

Participants will also be able to access free blood pressure checks, cholesterol and blood sugar tests as well as general wellness advice from health care professionals.

The symposium, a spin-off of the newspaper’s weekly

Your Health Your Wealth magazine, will also feature some of the magazine’s contributors on location, one of whom — Dr Sharon Robinson — will be offering free oral cancer screening. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet some of the contributors to the health magazine.

“It is our hope that Jamaicans will be able to get the information they need to get them on the path to good health,” Davidson said.

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