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Well Bermuda health strategy to be updated

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The Well Bermuda health promotion strategy will be reviewed and updated today.

Community partners will meet to report their progress in tackling the Island's health problems and to revise their action plans.

“We met officially in 2013 and did a review of objectives,” said Virloy Lewin, the Department of Health's health promotion co-ordinator. “We want to update them again and look toward 2020.

“We want to make sure our objectives are relevant and that they are achievable. The overall goals will be the same because they are very relevant to what is happening now. We're all working in different areas but we all have the same message of a well Bermuda and that's the overall wish as the vision for the Department of Health is healthy people and healthy communities.”

Well Bermuda is a national health promotion strategy that co-ordinates lead agencies to use resources effectively as they work together to tackle health issues in the community. It is themed around healthy people, healthy families and healthy communities, and aims to achieve these through 18 goals.

These include improving awareness of and reducing chronic diseases, promoting positive parenting and better quality of life for seniors and the disabled, managing food and vector-borne diseases, increasing road safety and stopping violence before it begins.

Through the Health Promotion Office, Dr Lewin has been encouraging maintenance of a healthy body weight for height.

She has been promoting physical activity through the Move More Bermuda campaign, the annual Celebrating Wellness event, FitnessGram in schools and Know Your Numbers screenings.

She has also been promoting healthy eating through the dietary guidelines and EatWell Plate, the annual school lunch competition and a partnership with grocery stores and wholesalers.

“We want people to know that there is a strategy; there are people working towards a healthier Bermuda,” Dr Lewin said. “There is action happening and it's quite a bit of action.”

Each of the strategy's goals are assigned to a lead agency, which are split into five action groups. At the meeting, each action group will report on the progress towards their objectives, to what extent they have achieved these and whether they are still relevant or need updating.

Dr Lewin said: “The action plans will detail the objectives and what initiatives and key deliverables that they would have to accomplish in their goal.

“In a time of very limited resources, we need to tackle what we can and sometimes we can't tackle everything but at least if we're able to do one of two and do them very well, then that's a success.

“We're still trying to build some of these as well. We see some gains but we'd like to see more in terms of chronic diseases.

Dr Lewin said the annual partnership meeting was also geared towards establishing Well Bermuda 2020, a document that looks “towards an achievable goal” and that falls in line with the Bermuda Health Action Plan, which was presented by Jeanne Atherden, the Minister of Health, at the Bermuda Health Strategy Symposium this month.

The Steps to a Well Bermuda 2014 survey results will also be presented.

“This is an opportunity now for us, now that we have those results, to make plans and come up with strategies to tackle them,” Dr Lewin said.

Healthy eating: the Department of Health's EatWell Plate offers recommendations for each meal based on plate size. (Image supplied)
Working towards a Well Bermuda: The Department of Health's dietary guidelines (Image supplied)
Promoting health on the Island: the Well Bermuda partnership meeting will be held on Wednesday (Image supplied)

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Published January 27, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 27, 2016 at 1:25 am)

Well Bermuda health strategy to be updated

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