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NCD Week promotes healthy living

Friday March 03, 2017 Written by Published in Health
Ministry of Health staff check a resident’s blood pressure at the NCD Awareness Week at the National Auditorium. 17030107 Ministry of Health staff check a resident’s blood pressure at the NCD Awareness Week at the National Auditorium. 17030107

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Awareness Week is an opportunity for people to get together and share information on the effects and prevention of NCDs, which are highly prevalent in the Cook Islands.

 

This week the Cook Islands Ministry of Health held a one-week programme which included an introductory class at Crossfit gym in Arorangi and a “fitness revolution” workshop for injury prevention, held on Monday.

On Tuesday; another fitness revolution workshop was held for senior citizens. There was also a CITC Karangaranga/radio talkback show and a Just Play festival, the latter held at Tupapa Field.

The NCD expo was held on Wednesday at the National Auditorium with fruit trees and vegetable seedlings for sale. There were also cooking demonstrations and tastings, food sales, information booths and displays and a “fitness revolution” workshop about nutrition.

The final event for the week featured another Crossfit introductory class.

Health promotion manager Karen Tairea says the week has received tremendous support and they hope to widen the scope of the programme and make it much bigger next year.

The week was dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging people to understand more about NCDs and their effects, she said.

“It is also about encouraging people to make changes in their diets and make improvements to their health thus preventing NCD.”

She said she had not been able to compare statistics, but understood last year the figures looked “stable”.

“It will be some time before we see the true results (of awareness campaigns). It’s about changing people’s habits in eating and exercise.

“We have seen some changes to those diseases that were high risk last year and now we are working on the younger population to look after their health.”

Tairea said people with diabetes and high blood pressure made up the largest number of NCD cases and both problems could lead to heart diseases.

“We hope to encourage everyone about making changes to their diet.

“I know it is hard making lifestyle changes, but if we do not make changes, our health is not going to improve.”