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Taking Care of the Environment for a Stronger Heart

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, October 3, 2019

Taking Care of the Environment for a Stronger Heart

President of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB), Dr Kenneth Connell, has issued a call to action to take note of self-inflicted threats to our survival as a species, and has warned that poor interaction with the eco-system is affecting the health of the people.

kenneth Connell-10-3-2019.jpgHe said this trend, on the current trajectory, has the potential to be catastrophic and heartbreaking.

Dr Connell, lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences,Cave HillCampus, and chair of a campus task force for that faculty’s international outreach delivered the message on World Heart Day, which was observed on September 29.

“Our environment is now exerting revenge on centuries of abuse; it has effected this in both climate change and unhealthy lifestyle diseases, the so-called non communicable diseases (NCDs). The impact of climate change is most evident in the region known, and celebrated internationally, for its resilience and creativity. (This region) now faces the formidable threats of increasingly more violent natural disasters.”

The medical professional referenced Hurricane Dorian, which tore through Grand Bahama and The Abaco Islands in The Bahamas last month, leaving a trail of death and infrastructural damage.

Taking Care of the Environment for a Stronger Heart

Equally noticeable, he said, are changes to our summers that appear to be getting hotter, as well as worsening droughts.

“The annual season of nature’s terrifying revenge must be a wake-up call to take heart of where we live and how we repair it. Our scientists, and other scholars, are faced with a fertile ground of problemsto fix, the challenge will be how innovative the whole of society’s response becomes towardssolutions.”

At the same time, he noted, “The social determinants of health mean that our poorest brothers and sisters, are less likely to afford healthy foods, and alarmingly, this burden appears to be trans-generational.”

The foundation president said this threat to our very survival necessitates anational philosophical change in how we interact with our habitat and who we hold accountable.

He encouraged Barbadians to take personal steps to change

their immediate surroundings.

“Consider increasing your physical activity in the office, or reducing

the amount of added salt in our diet. Set examples, for future hearts, by having water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, and in a reusable bottle, in order to reduce planet waste. Insist, from our governments, that the environment of the most vulnerable citizens be protected; petition for healthier schools and day-cares.”


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