Walking boosts immune system: Health Educator hails PM’s Monthly Health Walk

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“The Prime Minister’s Monthly Health Walk is an amazing event to take part in because with this type of activity it helps you to boost your immune system and also keep you healthy and fit,” said regular Prime Minister’s Health Walk participant, Dr Mathias Afortu-Ofre, at the end of the walk.

According to Dr Afortu-Ofre, who is the National HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator and Health Educator, since people go to work where they end up being very busy as a result of regular work schedules, they should at least once a month – and more if possible – get involved in such an exercise as it helps greatly with the heart and the immune system.

“This strategy put in place by the Prime Minister is amazing, knowing that not only because he is 100 percent concerned about the citizens and residents, but is also concerned about their health because sometimes we eat a whole lot of stuff that is not really ideal,” noted the Health Educator. “This is an opportunity for us to burn down a lot calories, to agitate to boost our immune system, and also create an opportunity for us to work up our heart a little bit, you know – keep it up and running.”

The now hugely popular Prime Minister’s Monthly Health Walk, which draws scores of health conscious individuals from across the island of St. Kitts, and even from Nevis, was initiated in April 2007 by the Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Seven, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris. It was then known as the Dr Harris Constituency Number Seven Health Walk. It is now held under the umbrella of SKN Moves in the Ministry of Health.

“I want to offer a big plus and say thanks to the Prime Minister for what he has done, and what he is doing for the nation at large,” said Dr Afortu-Ofre. “So wherever you are, please do not wait, come out and involve in this exercise experience, to ensure that you keep yourself healthy, not only mentally but also physically healthy. It is an opportunity and I am part of – I am always happy to be part of it. Come and join us, and let us make our health a priority as the Prime Minister sees it as a joy, and a passion.”

Prime Minister Harris, who is also CARICOM’s lead spokesperson on human resources, health and HIV matters, took part in the walk from the start at the bus stop in Bellevue. While observing that a number of primary school children took part in the walk, he thanked their parents for allowing them to take part. He noted that it is important to inculcate good values to the young as they would grow to appreciate what they were taught.

Regular participants taking part in the walk included Permanent Secretaries, Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris of Health, and Mr William Vincent Hodge of Education. Other regulars included the Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency Tom Lee, Director of St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, Mr Antonio Maynard, and medical practitioners, Dr Leroy Richardson and Dr Dail Crawford.

The walk is organised by the Peoples Labour Party (PLP), whose National Political Leader is Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris. Among the party officials present included National Chairman Mr Warren Thompson, National Secretary Ms Myrtilla Williams, National Treasurer Mr Rawle Mars, National Women’s Representative Mrs Sonia Henry, and National Youth Representative Mr Jeremiah Locker.

Others were Deputy Secretary Ms Desire Huggins, Deputy Treasurer Mrs Patrice Ofre, and Administrative Assistant at the PLP Secretariat Ms Joann Kelly. Taking part from the branches were Chairman of Constituency Number Seven Executive Branch Mr Lenworth Harris, and from Constituency Number Five Branch Executive Branch were Chairman Mr Glenville Mills, Vice Chair Ms Marsha Lewis, and Women Representative Ms Janice Lewis.

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