A new initiative, rolled out to encourage health and wellness in workplaces across the island of Barbados, has been recommended to all sectors.
It is the “National Workplace Wellness Policy for Barbados 2019”, which was launched on 26th February 2019 at the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) headquarters at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael. BWU General Secretary, Senator Toni Moore, acknowledging that the Union was proud of the initiative, commended it to Government ministries and departments as well as private sector companies, health NGOs and CARICOM neighbours.
Senior Assistant General Secretary, Orlando “Gabby” Scott, in conveying a message by PAHO’s Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Godfrey Xuereb, said: “To achieve wellness, we must ensure that our worksites are conducive to a healthy environment, not just with regards to air pollution, to ergonomic desks and to be free from physical hazards.
“But in a Barbados of 2020 where the main causes of disability and burden of disease is that from non-communicable diseases, we need to also look at our workplaces as having enabling environments for people to practise healthy eating, be physically active, not be exposed to tobacco smoke and ensure that they have a good work life balance to keep them mentally fit.”
Pointing out that the benefits to employers was a productive workforce, he said: “If we don’t stem the scourge of NCDs – especially diabetes and hypertension – we will soon have the most important resource in this country too sick to be productive. Unless we stem the rise of hypertension, and we can only do this through reducing our salt intake and being physically active, we will soon have the majority of our productive age group too ill to produce – be it through disabilities from stroke, be it from having to be on dialysis or from having lower limb amputations.”