Black Immigrant Daily News
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says as part of the social and cultural transformation of Jamaica, citizens have to take personal responsibility for their own health and lifestyle practices.
Holness made the call during his address at the reopening ceremony of the Chapelton Community Hospital in Clarendon on Tuesday.
While emphasising that the Government is making “massive investments” in the island’s health infrastructure, Holness stressed the need for “the next generation of Jamaicans who are coming, and the current generation of Jamaicans who are with us now, to understand that the solution is not just the hospital.
“The solution is how to avoid the hospital by being healthy,” he declared.
He described as “unfortunate”, certain cultural practices which have been “ingrained” and are detrimental to “our health”.
Among such habits were the association of prosperity with being overweight, and the ‘big belly man’ being viewed as the prosperous man.
Additionally, Holness pointed to the concept of healthy eating being viewed as consuming excessive amounts of starch, including “whole heap of rice” and “cartwheel dumplings”.
The prime minister underscored that the Government has started the process of putting people in the communities to get Jamaicans to practise healthy eating habits and exercising.
“We have to remain healthy. Our health is in our own hands; not in the hands of the doctors and the nurses… Personal responsibility – that is the word,” stated Holness.