'Youths can change the way we behave'
Health Minister tells participants of Health Skills for Life Camp
Guyana Chronicle
July 12, 2004

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MINISTER of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy is challenging youths to play a greater role in the revolution for better health in Guyana.

Minister Ramsammy was addressing a large gathering of youths representing some of 22 School Health Clubs at Wednesday's opening of a one-week Health Skills For Life Camp at St. Monica, Pomeroon, Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam)

"Youths can change the way we behave. Our behaviour contributes largely to our health problems," a release from the Ministry of Health reported Ramsammy as saying.

"Many persons pay attention to their health when it is too late, and young people have an excellent opportunity to correct this trend," he added.

The young health advocates were admonished to use their influence in their homes, at schools, and in their respective communities to ensure that everyone takes a stand for better health.

Noting that ill health is not a destiny, but rather the consequences of making the wrong choices in life, Ramsammy noted that their stance for better health must be fully participatory.

He commended the students on their efforts of making their peers more aware of the need for positive life styles.

Representatives of the 22 School Health Clubs reported on their work during the last school term, and gave projections for goals to be achieved in the next academic term.

They reported favourable success through their programmes, which included health fairs, lectures on health topics such as nutrition and exercise, and the effects of health awareness campaigns.

Dr. Ramsammy assured the students of his Ministry's continued assistance in developing their leadership skills and capacity to take on the challenges for better health.

The Adolescence Health and Wellness Unit of the Ministry has established over 25 Health Clubs in schools across Guyana with an additional ten groups scheduled to come on stream before year end.

This initiative serves as a guide for communication and action among youths to take control over their own health and lifestyle and to also influence their peers, adults and communities, the release from the Health Ministry said.

The camp consists of sessions on topics such as Developing Leadership and Communication Skills; Assessing Community Needs, Guyanese and Caribbean Health Issues, and Youth Advocacy and Activism.

Among dignitaries in attendance at the opening of the Health Skills for Life Camp were Mrs. Hilda Bullen, wife of the United States Ambassador to Guyana, and Mr. And Mrs. Earl Brown of the US Peace Corps.