JAM | Jun 4, 2023

MOH director beckons more Jamaicans to be physically active

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Takese Foga, director of Health Promotion & Education, Ministry of Health & Wellness addresses the launch of Everyone’s a Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken 3K & 5K Run/Walk held recently at the Tree House, Hope Zoo. Looking on from left: Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director, Running Events Jamaica Limited; Avadaugn Sinclair, regional marketing manager of the Best Dressed Chicken (BDC), major sponsor of the race and Diane Ellis, director of Running Events Jamaica Limited. (Photo: Contributed)

In endorsing the Everyone’s A Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken Father’s Day 3K and 5K Run/Walk, Takese Foga, director of health promotion in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, has appealed to Jamaicans to participate in daily physical activity as an integral part of healthy living.

Speaking on Wednesday (May 31) at the launch of the event, set for June 18 at Hope Gardens, Foga said to help in the prevention and management  of non-communicable diseases , each person needed to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days a week. This can be  divided into 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon.

According to the health executive, seven out of ten Jamaicans die each year from non-communicable diseases. “Our last Jamaica Health & Lifestyle Survey III – 2016/2017 showed that one-in-eight persons have diabetes, while four-out-of-10 who have diabetes don’t know they have it. A similar trend is seen in hypertension where one-in-three persons have it but and four-out-of-0 are unaware.  But by engaging in daily physical activities, together with a healthy diet, we can significantly  reduce our risk of being affected by these non-communicable diseases,” she said.

This year’s Everyone’s a Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken Father’s Day 3K and 5K Run/Walk will again focus on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle for families, while recognising the value of a healthy father as a gift to his family.

Under the theme ‘Miles for Hope’, the race will benefit 12-year-old Raje Joseph, who in June 2019 was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

“This young man needs an urgent stem cell transplant at a cost of US$87,000, not including room and board, food, as well as ground transportation for the duration of the treatment, which is estimated to take six months.  So, we have decided to donate the proceeds from the race day to him,” said Avadaugn Sinclair, regional marketing manager of the Best Dressed Chicken (BDC), major sponsor of the event.  

“While it has been hard financially, it has also drawn our family together. Going through this terrible storm has caused all of us to hold on to each other a little bit tighter,” said Raje’s mother Vanessa Williams-Morgan, who is a Best Dressed Chicke employeen.

“It’s been a blessing working for a company like BDC,” said Vanessa. “They have been superb during this journey. They have helped me with medication and offered counselling to help me through the difficult days. I am grateful for all they have done,” she continued, while expressing gratitude on behalf of her husband Ralston Morgan and two other sons.

Race director, Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, of Running Events Jamaica, noted that the run/walk, which begins at 6:00 am, will offer individuals, families and teams from Corporate Jamaica an opportunity to improve their overall health. “It will be a premium boutique race experience, with post-race favourites such as tastings and refreshments; massages; a misting station and health checks by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and awards presentations.

Representatives of the corporate sponsors of the Everyone’s a Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken 3K & 5K run/walk join Diane Ellis (left), director of Running Events Jamaica Limited; Lackesha Pitter (third left), Brand Manager, The Best Dressed Chicken – major sponsor; Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis (fifth left back) race director, Running Events Jamaica Limited and Avadaugn Sinclair (sixth right back), regional marketing manager of the Best Dressed Chicken in displaying the branded T-shirt to be handed out to participants at the Father’s Day race. (Photo: Contributed)

“With this race, we are again affirming the importance of a healthy lifestyle through fitness and exercises and – with the help of our partners – nutrition as well. This is especially relevant, given the current data of the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, including obesity, which is a great concern.  So Running Events Jamaica is proud to champion the cause of a healthy lifestyle to assist in arresting this worrying trend,” he continued.

On race day, the first 2,000 participants will receive medals and the top three father and child duo, in both the 3K and 5K races, will be awarded special trophies. There will also be prizes of free passes to Hope Zoo for the fastest children under 12 who cross the finish line, in addition to trophies for the overall male and female winners in first, second and third places. Running teams will once again be vying for the Roy Thomas Trophy, in honour of the veteran road racer who has been an inspiration for the Jamaican road racing community.

Registration for the 3K & 5K races is on-line only at www. and T-shirts are available with bib pick-up for the first 2,000 registered.


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