On 27th November 2018, we were delighted to launch our NCD Prevention Action Plan and announce our upcoming National Weight Loss Campaign.
The launch took the form of a press conference and was attended by the major media outlets in Nevis. The event was chaired by our very own, Mr David Walwyn, Director of the F.I.T Wellness Center and featured on the panel were:
- Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister for Health, who provided an overview of NCDs in Nevis
- Dr Judy Nisbett, Chief Medical Officer for Nevis, who discussed the cost of NCDs, this included direct and indirect costs as well as the impact NCDs have on families
- Nadine Carty-Caines, Programme Coordinator, Health Promotion Unit, Ministry of Health, who took the press through all the statistics on NCDs in Nevis
- Dr Raymond Moving, Internal Medicine, Alexandra Hospital, who explained the complications of NCDs focusing particularly on diabetes
- Dr Samir Anadkat, Obesity and Diabetes Specialist, Professor (Neuroscience & Anatomy), Medical University of Americas, Nevis, who explored prevention and addressed some of the myths around weight loss
- David Walwyn, Director, F.I.T. Wellness Centre, who spoke about F.I.T’s approach to tackling NCDs in Nevis
- Abi Begho, Public Health Project Manager, Lake Health and Wellbeing, who discussed the upcoming National Weight Loss Campaign and also announced the slogan competition for the campaign
Why Focus on NCDs?
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer are a major health challenge in St Kitts and Nevis with 83% of deaths in the Federation being due to these conditions.
One of the key factors driving NCDs in St Kitts and Nevis is the high rate of obesity. In 2012, PAHO reported that 32.5% of secondary school children in St Kitts and Nevis were overweight and 14.4% were obese and a more recent report published by UNICEF in 2017 stated that 26% of children in St Kitts and Nevis were obese. We know that children who are overweight or obese are more likely to become overweight or obese adults and this puts them at a high risk of developing NCDs like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Obesity rates in St Kitts and Nevis in adults aged 25 to 64 is high with a 2008 study stating that 33.5% of adults in this age group were overweight and 45% were obese.
We have developed an answer to NCDs by developing its NCD Prevention Action Plan which will focus on supporting residents of Nevis to get fit, healthy and lose weight, and thus reduce their risk of developing an NCD. A core part of our action plan is the National Weight Loss Campaign which will start in January 2019.
The National Weight Loss Campaign
The National Weight Loss Campaign aims to help residents of Nevis lose weight through a fun six-month weight loss challenge that will support participants in getting active and eating a healthier diet. Participants will be guided through the six-month period with advice, tips, healthy recipes, fun events and one-to-one support. There will also be prizes for the person who loses the most weight in their category, recognition of those who have succeeded in losing their target weight and we’ll be following specific people on their weight loss journey.
Technology will play an important role in the campaign and we’ll be creating a web-based health portal where participants can come together, support each other, ask questions, share pictures and videos and receive tips and advice from experts in health and fitness. The health portal will consist of a forum and a chat facility, so we can keep in touch with all participants and provide them with support every step of the way.
How The Public Can Get Involved in the National Weight Loss Campaign
The National Weight Loss Campaign is open to everyone in Nevis – old, young, male and female. If an individual would like to lose weight or would like some support in adopting a healthier lifestyle then they are welcome to take part.
The public can register for the campaign online here: https://mailchi.mp/3019830087d5/nationalweightlosscampaign or they can contact us by email or phone (869)-667-0079.
Businesses Can Get Involved Too
Businesses are strongly encouraged to take part in the National Weight Loss Campaign by either registering a team of their staff to get involved in the six-month weight loss challenge or they can play an instrumental role in improving the health and wellbeing of our community by becoming a corporate partner or sponsor.
For more information about this, businesses in Nevis can contact David Walwyn by email or phone (869)-662-8749.
Who is Behind this Initiative?
The National Weight Loss Campaign is an initiative of the FIT Wellness Center led by Mr David Walwyn with support from the Ministry of Health and Lake Health and Wellbeing
Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Unit
Phone: (869) 469-5521, (869) 469-8010, (869) 469-7470