Opening Remarks by Deputy Governor Boamah at the Central Bank of Barbados Health Fair on Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Very Reverend Dean of St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral, Dr. Frank Marshall, Management and staff of the Central Bank of Barbados, members of the participating organisations, businesses and other residents of Church Village and its environs, ladies and Gentlemen:
A pleasant good morning to everyone and welcome to the eleventh Central Bank of Barbados’ Annual Health Fair. Fairs are a wonderful way to educate people about health issues and the Bank is pleased to continue to sponsor this one. That this very important event has been sustained for over a decade points to the importance that the Bank attaches to the health and wellness of its staff.
The Bank is acutely aware of the sedentary nature of the work performed by most of the staff. To help in this regard, it has established and continues to maintain a properly stocked and supervised gym for use by the Bank staff and their family.
Well, it seems the investment is beginning to show tangible benefits. At the last inter-regional central bank games in Guyana in April this year, the Central Bank of Barbados was second only to Bank of Jamaica, with Jamaica winning the overall championship by only one point. An event like a health fair plays a complementary role to the gym as it provides the staff and the general public an opportunity to access vital tests which can help to identify chronic diseases that can significantly erode the quality of life.
The healthy workplace programme started in 1998 when the Bank joined with the then Heart Foundation of Barbados to initiate a worksite promotion and practice programme to positively influence the health of employees and to encourage major changes in lifestyle behaviours. The intention then, as it is now, was to assist in reducing the prevalence of such chronic illnesses as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and to help alter lifestyle habits that cause HIV/AIDS and drug abuse. The launch of the annual Health Fair followed one year later in 1999 and it has continued every year since then.
This year, the theme for the fair is "Our Health … Our Wealth", and to help us stage the event, several organisations and individuals with interests in and responsibility for the physical, psychological, spiritual and religious life of the Barbadian population, have been invited to participate in today’s event.
These organisations include:
- Asthma Association of Barbados
- Barbados Association of Retired Persons
- Barbados Cancer Society
- Barbados Council for the Disabled
- Barbados Kidney Association
- Christian Literature Crusade
- Collins Ltd/Carlisle Laboratories
- Diabetes Association of Barbados
- 4 Life
- Heart & Stroke Foundation
- Hope Foundation
- Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd
- LASCO B'dos Ltd
- Lifestyle Cuisine
- Ministry of Health
- Mrs. Marion Harte
- Myeloma, Lymphoma & Leukemia Foundation
- Network Services
- Psychiatric Outreach
- Royal Barbados Police Force
- Spectrol Medical Laboratories
- Christopher Brin
Four of these entities: Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP), 4 Life, Lifestyle Cuisine and Christopher Brin are joining us for the first time and we welcome them.
I do commend the Bank’s Human Resources Department for assembling such an impressive group of health professionals and other groups and for organising and sustaining this event for more than a decade.
I implore the Bank’s staff and the general public to ask pertinent questions of these health professionals and to get much needed information. Your health is important to us and it should no doubt be important to you too! Have no fears because I can assure you that the health professionals operate in the strictest of confidence. You are in good hands!
We invite you to pamper yourselves to a spa experience, to sample the products on display and to get needed tests done. Remember that you can benefit from a series of tests: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSAs), blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol tests and you could have your Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated. Moreover, you may seek vital tips on nutrition.
But above all, we also encourage you to be active. Do join us on the Terrace of the Frank Collymore Hall between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. for a line dance session to be conducted by the Bank’s number one dance fan, our own Michael Carrington, the Financial Controller, for what we anticipate will be an unforgettable and invigorating activity.
In closing, I would like, on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Bank, to thank all participants of this Fair, especially the health professionals for giving freely of their time to join us. I thank each and every one of you for coming and trust that you will enjoy the rest of the day’s proceedings. Have a great day looking after your health.
It now gives me the utmost pleasure to declare the 2010 Health Fair open.