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Sep 7, 2015

Health Initiative Unveiled in the Toledo District

Primary schools in the Toledo district were today recipients of equipment under a project with the World Bank, the Japanese Social Development Fund and the Ministry of Health. The equipment will be used to promote healthy living in schools. At the event in Punta Gorda, a tilapia farm was officially launched at the Julian Cho Technical High School and it is expected that the produce from the farm will go hand in hand with the health initiative. Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Improving the health and nutrition of children in Toledo is the focus of a joint initiative being undertaken by the Government of Belize, the World Bank and the Japan Social Development Fund.  Preventing and addressing the issue of undernourishment in children under the age of five can be achieved by empowering the local community.

 

Andrew Vernon

Dr. Andrew Vernon, Japan Social Development Fund

“Today’s launch of the School Health Day Manual, the Healthy Flavors of the South cookbook or cooking guide, the Growing Healthy, Growing Good video documentary only validates one of the many multi-sectoral efforts currently being implemented by the Ministry of Health with the allied support of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education.  Furthermore, it improves the health and the lives of our children in Toledo and countrywide.”

 

Equally important is the development of healthy lifestyle programs in primary school curricula for children.  The project similarly seeks to strengthen access and quality of community-based health services in support of maternal and child health.

 

Peter Allen

Dr. Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“We must make sure that when our young women become pregnant they are healthy and strong.  We must first promote the development of healthy young adults who will themselves become healthy parents.  Our work includes a commitment to healthy planned, pregnancies, a commitment to capable and informed parents within the context of a loving and supportive family.  It includes a commitment to the fundamental rights of our children and to the development of supportive systems which provide the opportunities for parents and children to realize those rights and to maximize their potential.  To provide the opportunity then in which Belizean children may not only dream big dreams but may actually realize those aspirational and inspirational objectives.”

 

At Julian Cho Technical High School this morning, a series of fish tanks for tilapia farming was inaugurated.  It is the hope that produce from the farms will be used to assist with the various school feeding programs across the district.

 

Dr. Peter Allen

“Our children will be ready and able to help with the school gardens, the fish ponds using the fantastic sets of equipment, tools and resources set out before us today.  Ready and able to help support the school feeding programs, drawing upon the outstanding recipes described in the wonderful cookbook that will be presented today, again developed by all of you.”

 

The Ministry of Health is the recipient of grant funds, while the Toledo District Health Council is the project implementing unit which will execute the project in collaboration with the ministry. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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