PRESS RELEASE – Going beyond the traditional community outreach areas of education and social support, Axcel Finance this week launched an innovative programme targeting health and wellness among the nation’s children.
The programme dubbed State of Health is designed to educate and develop increased awareness of healthy lifestyle practices among children and adolescents in the 10 – 19 age-groups.
The project will offer children across the island creative educational programmes and preventative testing.
Axcel Finance will work closely with the Ministry of Education to introduce educational curricula within the school system to promote awareness of good health practices.
Students throughout schools in all nine (9) Health Regions across the island will receive free testing to ensure early detection and prevention of some irreversible diseases.
State of Health will contribute to the prevention and alleviation of juvenile diabetes and childhood obesity through creative educational programmes and preventative testing amongst students and young people. Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George believes that by targeting the youth “Axcel got it right.”
In her first official function as Country Manager, Hermina Danzie-Vitalis, said Axcel Finance is taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach to child health and juvenile wellness.
She told the gathering: “Axcel Finance is committed to the continuing development of human resources and enriching lives and we have shown our unwavering commitment throughthe many community outreach programmes which we have initiated in St. Lucia.
CEO of Axcel Finance, Sam Rosenberg said his company is pioneering a program which he hopes will have a long term impact on the society.
He said: “By working with young adults and highlighting the impact on their future we can make a difference. We are driving a change in behaviour before it is too late and too costly.”
Rosenberg notes that a pre-requisite to being a productive member of society, an employee, a businessman, or a small business owner, is to be healthy.
He stressed that as individuals, we can’t meet our financial obligations without generating income. He adds that a healthier populace also means less expenditure on healthcare and such scarce resources can be redirected to education and other important areas.
Principal Nursing Officer at the Dennery Hospital, Kerthney Charlemagne-Surage said:
“Axcel’s commitment to promoting healthy living is in sync with our goals at the Ministry of Health. Through this public-private partnership, we are hoping to reach at least 75% of the population.”
State of Health was also endorsed by Independent Senator and Pathologist, Dr. Stephen King, who lauded the programme as a much needed component of child and adolescent health in St. Lucia.
Addressing the Programme Launch, Dr. King told the gathering: “20-25 % of youth in St. Lucia suffer from being overweight, 30% of youth are hungry, 40% of youth suffer from depression. These are all telling of the state of health of our young people. So I would like to thank Axcel Finance for bringing focus to this issue and I hope this galvanizes the necessary process that we need to put in place. “
He encouraged the students who were in attendance to focus on their healthy lifestyle as he believes a healthy lifestyle will result in a happy and successful individual.