Get on the ‘low-salt bus’
The message of reducing daily salt intake and making healthy lifestyle choices is being taken to the travelling public with the National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Commission bus advertisement campaign.
Minister of Health Donville Inniss said yesterday that the messages were being placed in prominent places where they could be seen.
As the NCD Commission launched the bus advertisement campaign at the JB’s Super Centre’s Sargeant’s Village branch, Inniss said the ministry was taking the message directly to the most vulnerable. “Rather than just sit in the office and issue normal bland releases, the ministry has been proactive by designing messages that target certain groups and delivering the messages via various [media],” he said.
He said that in the past some companies had placed advertisements on buses to promote unhealthy foods, cigarettes and alcohol and the ministry had decided to place their advertisements alongside them or in more prominent places.
“Let us be bold and go right into the enemy’s camp and deliver our message, so they can see the advertisements when they ride the bus and when they stand at the bus stops,” he said.
Inniss said that in recent times there had been the re-emergence of local cigarette manufacturers advertising their products in the media.
“We do not want tobacco manufacturers to gain root in Barbados again. It is unhealthy, it may create a few jobs and gain us some foreign exchange, but [if] we also allow them to take root, it will take a lot more treating of individuals who consume their products,” he said.
The National NCD Commission has teamed with the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) to place 15 advertisements in Transport Board buses with the message of eating five fruits or vegetables per day as well as getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity.
Additionally, two bus shelters now bear the message Cut Down On Salt as part of the second phase of the NCD Commission’s salt reduction campaign.
The advertising campaign is partly sponsored by ICBL, whose representative Wanda Mayers said that between 60 and 70 per cent of the insurance claims related to NCDs. (LK)