ELEUTHERA, BAHAMAS – A healthy heart, weight loss, reduced risk of high blood pressure, increased energy, reduced stress, increased metabolism, muscle toning, and strengthening of joints and bones. These are all benefits of walking. Under the theme, “Let’s Walk”, One Eleuthera Foundation’s Pathway to Wellness, in its efforts to ‘reverse the trends’ set out a series of health fairs all over the island of Eleuthera.
The purpose? – to educate residents and visitors on the health benefits of walking. To date, health fairs were hosted at North Eleuthera Shopping Center, The Bluff on September 3rd, at Temperance Square, Harbour Island on September 23rd, at The Food Fair Supermarket, Spanish Wells on November 4th, The Market Place, Rock Sound on November 18th and Majestic #9 Barber Shop in Governor’s Harbour on Friday, December 2nd.
Numerous persons from various communities received valuable health tips and basic health screening. Together, these events have screened just over 200 individuals.
Partnering for the success of the events were local Public Health nurses giving unselfishly of their time and talents by the facilitation of blood pressure, blood glucose and BMI readings.
Several OEF partners participated in the event. Cancer Society Eleuthera (CSE) provided information on various cancers and services they provide.
“This year’s health fair series was an amazing set of events which traveled the length and breadth of the island to help bring healthy lifestyle awareness to the community at large”, stated newly appointed administrator for CSE Chinicci McDonald.
“This is an initiative that should be ongoing to help sensitize people to the importance of eating right, exercising and paying attention to their bodies”, Ms. McDonald concluded.
Eleuthera Community Farms (ECF) was also present with green smoothies and DIY garden beds which were built by the carpentry students at Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI). Additionally, One Eleuthera Corporative Credit Union provided information and registration opportunities for potential and existing members. Further, OEF’s Breast Cancer Outreach Program (BCOP), partly funded by Susan G. Komen, provided breast health information. Literature was also available from Family Medicine Center and Diabetes Education Network (DEN) who have been major sponsors of the Pathway to Wellness since its inception in 2012.
Other participants in the health fairs were Mariposa Day Spa with massage therapy demos and spa products, Transformation Fitness Center offering healthy tips and exercise demonstrations, and The Temple Wellness studio providing fitness tips.
“More events such as these are needed on the island to bring awareness to health, especially with the high rates of obesity and cancer in Eleuthera. There is a lot of focus on the spirituality aspect, but there needs to also be some focus and awareness on taking care of our bodies”, said Mrs. Keyshna Kemp, owner of Transformation Fitness Center.
“We, The Rock Sound Properties (1976) Limited Group of Companies, The Market Place, The Sands Family and our Staff, are pleased to welcome and support constructive events such as your health fair. This aligns with our efforts over our 40 years of business, to positively impact our community”, said Mr. Thomas Sands.
“We applaud your efforts”, Mr. Sands concluded.
A final component of the health fairs was for participants to give suggestions on what they would like to see implemented on the island to help them live healthier lives. Responses were very positive and ranged from affordable fresh produce, more outdoor activities, fitness programs, a hospital, healthy foods restaurants, backyard gardening, a juice bar, more educational forums and countless others.
Written by: Maisie Thompson and Shapreka Clarke
Edited by: Embri Stuart