The Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Duane Sands, visited the workshop on the second day, and energized the participants with his factual, sometimes humorous account of the burden of obesity in The Bahamas. He noted that the country could not afford NCDs and childhood obesity, and highlighted the importance of taking steps to deal with cultural aspects of eating and physical activity, as well as perceptions of overweight and obesity. He suggested that the group of participants could become a nidus for a movement to tackle the problem and requested a summary of the actions being taken.
The media also visited the workshop on the second day and conducted interviews with Dr. Homer Bloomfield, CSOB Board Member; Dr. Williamson Chea, CSOB President; Dr. Christine Chin, Obesity Specialist and Coordinator of the CSOB project; and Dr. Beverley Barnett, HCC Consultant and workshop facilitator. The interviews resulted in the workshop being highlighted on a television broadcast that evening.
The participants’ commitment, enthusiasm, and engagement were evident throughout the workshop, and their evaluation indicated satisfaction with the interactive approach used to build their capacity in key areas related to the development and implementation of the CSOB Action Plan. Dr. Chea presented the participants with Certificates of Participation from the CSOB, and committed to continue the momentum and participation generated through the workshop to advocate for national policy aimed at decreasing children’s SSB intake and contributing to childhood obesity prevention.
The HCC will continue to work with its member organizations, governments, and partners to address this and other critical issues related to NCD prevention and control.