The Ministry of Health (MOH) is inviting high-school students from across the South East Region to participate in the grand finale of its Healthy Youth Positive Energy (HYPE) School Tour.
The event takes place on Friday, March 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the front field of the University of Technology (UTech), and is targeting all high schools in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.
Behaviour Change and Communication Officer at the Ministry of Health, Julia Manderson, told JIS News that the HYPE Tour is one of the strategies in a joint effort with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to promote healthy lifestyles in schools.
“This idea of the HYPE Tour came about in consultations with the student population,” she said, explaining that while working on the School Health Programme, it was determined that the officers were not reaching the students in a very meaningful way.
“So, this new strategy is really to tap into their interests and creative potential. We embarked on the tour, targeting the four Ministry of Health regions. So far, we have completed three legs. We have done the North-East, Western and Southern regions,” she noted.
She explained that on the tour, healthy lifestyles are being promoted using a creative and innovative approach with the creation of HYPE Zones, focusing on four main areas – physical activity, healthy eating, saying no to drugs and caring for the environment.
Miss Manderson highlighted some of the creative strategies being employed on the tour.
“In the zone that is earmarked for the promotion of physical activity, we are looking at fun and creative ways to promote it, such as dance, games like baseball, skipping, hula-hooping; so, we’re looking at things that they can use while at school and at home. They will actually be working out and not even realising that they are doing it,” she said.
Miss Manderson pointed out that in the healthy-eating zone, the students are given the ingredients to make healthy meals.
She said that the students across the island have also been engaged in the HYPE Challenge which runs simultaneously with the tour. “Students are encouraged to come up with 30- to 60-second videos showing how they can eat healthy, say no to drugs, or do physical activity.
They are expected to upload the videos to their Facebook pages and tag the MOH page. The video that gets the most likes would be the winner, and there are very attractive prizes,” she explained.
Article by: Peta-Gay Hodges
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm