Minister of Public Health Boasman Caribbean Wellness Day Message to Senior Citizens Community of Sint Maarten


PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Hon. Rafael Boasman over the weekend in a statement congratulated all Sint Maarteners on Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) which was observed across the Region on Saturday, September 12.

CWD takes places on the second Saturday in the month of September.  It is an annual event geared at increasing awareness and promoting activities to address the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which continues to severely impact the health, economy and development the Region.

“The local theme that CWD 2015 is being held under is: Age Active…U 2 Can Move!  Every year our age goes up, but as we get older, it does not mean that we have to sit by and watch everybody else run by.

“Age is just a number.  Age Active…U 2 Can Move.  Up in age as they would say does not mean that we sit by.  Not at all.  We are still alive and well, and seniors are living longer due to better health care and living a healthy life style.  I encourage our seniors to remain active both mentally and physically.  There is no age limit to exercise.

“You are never too old to exercise.  Every little movement does wonders.  Muscles need to be kept active, and regular exercise does the body good.  If you don’t keep your muscles active you lose them.  There are various forms of exercise for seniors to keep us fit and our minds alert.  Exercise keeps us healthy and keeps chronic diseases at bay or under control.  Regular exercise also helps with balance, ensures confidence, and one is less likely to fall.

“Government would like to see more of our seniors taking a holistic approach by exercising regularly and stay active.  Let it become either your daily or weekly routine.  There is no age limit to exercise.  By doing this, our senior population will continue to stay healthy and live well.  Get together and form groups, and this social engagement also will build new friendships.

“On Caribbean Wellness Day 2015, let us as a nation embrace and celebrate ageing.  Together, let’s aspire to a Sint Maarten where we can all age actively, and healthily within our society,” Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Rafael Boasman said in a statement to mark CWD 2015.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries recognized the threat posed by NCDs, in The Declaration of Port of Spain.  It outlined key strategies to prevent, control and reduce NCDs through the life course.  This includes the need to increase physical activity in the entire population, especially in the workplace.

The Caribbean region has one of the highest rates of obesity in children and adults in the world.  This can be attributed in part, to poor diets and a lack of physical activity, driven by profound changes in the way we live and play, with massive marketing of foods high in sugar, fats and salt; as well as several hours per day spent watching TV and playing video games.