Teachers and students trained as Jamaica Moves ambassadors
Health Promotion and Education Officer at the Westmoreland Health Department, Gerald Miller, says the Ministry of Health’s Jamaica Moves Initiative has trained primary-school students and teachers from Westmoreland and Hanover as ‘ambassadors’.
Forty primary-school students and 10 teachers from Westmoreland, as well as 16 students and four teachers from Hanover, were trained at a two-day workshop in Savanna-la-Mar, recently.
“We engaged them (teachers and students) in sessions about proper nutrition, physical activity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Our nutritionists also determined the body mass index (BMI) of participants, so they were able to assess them to see how they are progressing nutritionally and work with those who may be overweight, obese or underweight,” Mr. Miller told JIS News.
He also emphasised that the training would enable the teachers and students to spread the word of healthy living among their peers.
“Children are good personal sellers. Once you have a behaviour to ‘sell’, if you sell it to children they can communicate that to their parents and to their peers, so we are banking on that to ensure that they will share the information gleaned from the workshop,” Mr. Miller said.
“Each school had to design a plan, which included setting targets to increasing physical activity, and having water days. We will be monitoring the schools (to see if the targets are met),” he noted.
The Jamaica Moves Initiative is currently being piloted in 24 primary and high schools in Western Jamaica.