Members of the Mocha Community on the East Bank Demerara, benefited immensely last Friday when the Food Policy Division of the Ministry of Health hosted a health fair at the Mocha Arcadia Primary School to commemorate the annual Caribbean Nutrition Day.
Caribbean Nutrition Day, which is celebrated throughout the region, commenced on June 1, 2004 with the aim of making persons aware of the various health issues that plague the Caribbean.
This year’s focus was placed on children, hence the theme “Healthy Eating and Active Living: Creating an Enabling School/Work/Community Environment”.
The event comprised varying aspects of health and started off with an opening ceremony which was held inside the Primary school. Attendees were treated to poems, dances and health talks that continued when they were invited to the grounds that hosted the actual fair. The small lectures and demonstrations educated the students on how they could care for themselves.
Some community members had already converged at the fair where they were also taught about health care.
Apart from the Ministry of Health’s Food Policy Division, eight other entities were invited to participate in the fair. They included Namilco, Ministry of Agriculture, National Agriculture Research and extension Institute (NARI), Cheddi Jagan Dental School, Child Protection Agency (CPA), Women of Worth; Ministry of Human Services, National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) and the Unit of Allied Arts.
Members of the Mocha Health Centre were also on hand to provide blood sugar and blood pressure testing to persons attending the fair.
The Food Policy Division provided tips for parents and children on healthy eating habits.
Namilco promoted its wheat products and had for sampling, the various foods that could be made with their product. This included porridge, whole wheat bread and pastries.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s arm promoted locally grown and packaged foods.
NARI provided information on planting strategies. The organization also had on display some of the many plants used in its research and they further provided samples of those plants to the public.
The Cheddi Jagan Dental School had on display its dental supplies and offered that their presence at the fair was mainly to make students acquainted with their apparatus and tools.
The two arms of the Ministry of Human Services were on hand to provide information to parents about child care and how they may tend to crises affecting their children. Small lectures were held on how to approach certain changes that may occur in children as they relate to aging and social life.
NAPS provided health tips in relation to tuberculosis and HIV. They gave advice on how to deal with issues pertaining to the diseases. The water purifying liquid Chloro-Sol was also distributed and persons who were said not to have access to distilled water were advised on how they could access the water purifying agent.
Community members expressed gratitude and said it was a great initiative to bring the health fair to Mocha.
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