Mrs. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

A number of persons and groups have already signed up to participate in the Half Island Road Relay-Walk, the first event scheduled hosted by the SKN Moves Nevis Chapter — an entity which will be launched on Oct. 4 at the FIT Wellness grounds at Bath Plain. 

The event, which is being held in collaboration with the Department of Sports and FIT Wellness Center, will commence at 5 a.m. along the Island Main Road from Brick Kiln Village to Butlers Village on to Fothergills, Market Shop, Brown Hill junction and culminate at the FIT Wellness grounds. Ms. Shelagh James, Communications Officer in the Ministry of Health on Nevis, told the Department of Information Thursday that interest in the walk, slated for Oct. 5, has gained momentum since its announcement at a press conference on Sept. 20. 

SKN Moves Nevis Chapter was the brainchild of Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs, borne out of a similar initiative launched in St. Kitts earlier this year by Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mrs. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health noted during the press conference.

“These launches form part of a regional initiative, Caribbean Moves, and is geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles and combatting non-communicable diseases [NCDs]…” she said.“Our government recognises the effect of non-communicable diseases on the health and socio economic development of the federation. The Ministry of Health and our stakeholders cannot overemphasise the need to stay healthy and physically active.”

Mrs. Martin-Clarke noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates physical inactivity is responsible for close to 2 million deaths annually, and estimates that more than 80 percent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.

The Ministry of Health official added that the WHO’s global recommendations of physical activity for health focuses on primary prevention of NCDs through physical activity. 

“Physical activity is also aligned with the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals… We have to collectively address our health challenges, and evidence shows in order to have a real and a lasting impact, a combination of physical activity with good nutritional diet is essential in preventing illnesses and combatting NCDs,” she said.