a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - The Students of Fatima College Speak Out About NCDs

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The Students of Fatima College TT & President's Youth Ambassadors at the recent NCD Child Conference

Fatima BoysIn the words of the first lady “We need to change our mindset if we are to verify this growing problem of NCD’s in the Caribbean.” We the students of Fatima College agree with her one hundred percent. In our view there isn’t a more significant way of tackling the problem head on. Although implementing policies to ensure a healthier lifestyle of students who are most at risk can be effective, they are more likely to have temporary or short term effects as oppose to the actual changing of the mindsets of the adults as well as students which can permanently verify the problem at hand as it now becomes part of their everyday lifestyle.

Both the parents and student play unique roles and so need to be educated through a medium that is applicable to their specific age group. For example students of both primary and secondary schools respond to media presentations as it holds their interest and appeals to them a lot more as oppose to educational forums or the standard presentation which would have greater appeal to the adult population. The standard presentations are seen as tedious and boring by students as it seems like added work to them. However in the age of technology in which we live, students would be encouraged by media presentations as it would be effective on the adult population in the sense that adults are always willing to learn and to grow so as to set the example and therefore these informative standard presentations can prove to be significant.

As stated before, the most effective way of resolving the growing problem of NCD’s in the Caribbean is through the changing of our mindsets. However immediate control of the issues can be achieved through short term methods such as the implementation of standards in which cafeterias must keep (e.g. well balanced lunches, withdrawal of soft drinks etc.). Other methods include compulsory yearly sporting activities (e.g. Fatima’s 5k run and more rigorous P.E. programs) and compulsory student and parent workshops or a day set aside yearly with the specific aim of making parents and students aware in an enjoyable manner (e.g. through the use of sport and other games).

Finally smoking and the abuse of drugs such as alcohol by students is a very delicate matter and therefore delicate measures have to be taken. It is very difficult to discourage the youth from abstaining once they have begun partaking in the activities according to Dr. Fuad Khan and Dr. Nicholas Alipui. The only effective way of dealing with these youth is by displaying to them the reality of NCD’s and how prone they are once they partake in these drugs. In reality youths are “hard headed” and they only way to get through to them is through extreme methods, for example by displaying to them the gruesome and disheartening effects of these NCD’s that they are prone to can potentially bring upon themselves the suicide and self inflicted damage. I recall a similar method was previously used some time ago on the upper six biology class to get through to us about the adverse effects of AIDS and STDs and I tell you most solemnly, we got the picture.