Governor-General Promotes Healthy Living

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Governor-General, His Excellency the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna is greeted by staff of the Flamingo Gardens Clinic during his visit to the healthcare facility on Thursday, as part of his annual visit to healthcare facilities in New Providence and Grand Bahama just ahead of the Yuletide Season. His Excellency has already paid visits to the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. (Photo/Patrick Hanna).

By: Matt Maura

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Unhealthy lifestyle practices, adverse environmental conditions and hereditary predispositions can increase one’s risk of being afflicted with communicable and non-communicable diseases (CNCD), HIV/AIDS and other conditions, and can result in disability and even death, Governor-General, His Excellency, the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna said Thursday, December 13, 2007.

Delivering the keynote address during celebrations marking his visit to the Flamingo Gardens Clinic as part of the Governor-General’s Annual Tour of healthcare facilities in New Providence and Grand Bahama, Mr. Hanna encouraged Bahamians of all walks of life to take up the Ministry of Health and Social Development’s challenge to practice healthy eating, healthy choices and healthy lifestyles as they can all help to reduce the occurrence of some of the predispositions many people face, thereby ensuring healthier lives.

The Governor-General said heart disease remains the leading cause of death in The Bahamas and that, in many instances, it is a complication of CNCDs.

“Studies have shown that a large number of our citizens suffer from diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stroke, heart disease and cancer which impact our productivity in the workplace and indeed the country as a whole,” His Excellency said.

The Governor-General challenged staff and administrators at the Clinic to continue to encourage the adults in the surrounding communities to practice healthy living, while helping to instill the importance of “following the guidelines which promote safe and healthy lifestyles in the youth.”

Mr. Hanna said a large percentage of The Bahamas’ financial resources are spent to treat these conditions and their complications. He said the clinic can play an even greater role in improving the healthcare of the persons living in the surrounding communities by continuing to spread the message of healthy living.

“This clinic is located in a fast-growing community and with development comes various challenges inclusive of crime, disease and threats to the health, safety and well-being of citizens in communities such as this,” the Governor-General said.

“The Ministry of Health and Social Development is advocating that we build a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, increasing our physical activities and creating supportive environments to improve personal and community health. This can be done in your neighborhoods, health centres, daycare centres and the like.

“This Clinic, which is centrally located in this hub of development, has an excellent opportunity to join in this initiative. All that is needed is the commitment and dedication of a few individuals to lead the process,” the Governor-General added.

His Excellency said there is no doubt that there have been “steady improvements” in the delivery of quality healthcare to the residents of the Carmichael and surrounding areas.

“The nation is especially grateful for your work in the provision of healthcare services to the occupants of the Children’s Emergency Hostel, the All Saints Camp, the Detention Centre and the 27,000 residents in the southwestern district of New Providence,” His Excellency added.

He said healthcare professionals at the clinic should forge alliances with the churches, business places, schools and residents to ensure that their communities remain healthy, which includes being free of crime.

“You should make every effort to establish wholesome activities and outreach programmes in which the youth can become involved (in order) to promote the use of their energies in a positive way,” His Excellency said.