29 August 2022

How front-of-package warning labels can protect our health

[SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH VIDEO] Have you heard about front-of-package warning labels (FOPWL) for foods high in sugar, salt and fats? These are foods that can cause non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are responsible for 78 per cent of deaths in Jamaica. Sadly, 36 per cent of Jamaican children between 13 and 15 are overweight or obese, estimates…, Best-performing way to help Jamaican consumers, That’s why UNICEF and other partners continue to support The Heart Foundation of Jamaica in lobbying to ensure that octagonal front-of-package warning labels are introduced . According to a 2021 study conducted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the University of Technology (UTech) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), these…, Why do you think we need FOPWL in Jamaica?, Rosanna: We need front-of-package warning labels in Jamaica as a measure to help reduce the prevalence of NCDs as well as obesity, and especially as it regards to safeguarding our children’s health. So at least we can do it for them, to protect the future of Jamaica. Essentially, as consumers, we need an easier way to identify foods that might…, What do you think is needed to move Jamaica forward? , Rosanna: Moving forward, I think that we need a more comprehensive approach. We definitely need to identify more champions going forward. We need like a multifaceted approach to get more persons on board and amplify our messages and our cause and to say, “Hey, we are not doing this just for ourselves, but for the health of our nation!” Shannique:…, Your message for Jamaican youth?, Rosanna: I implore all Jamaican youth to support our advocacy initiatives for the FOPWL. If you’re interested, get on board. Reach out to UNICEF Jamaica, Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Healthy Caribbean Coalition or JYAN. Any representative from any of these organizations would be more than willing to hear your concerns and what you are passionate…, What's UNICEF doing?, UNICEF Jamaica supports The Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s  “Protect Our Children’s Health” mass media campaign and other activities to raise awareness about the health harms of foods high in salt, fat and sugar and the importance of implementing octagonal warning labels to create a food policy environment that supports healthy nutrition and…
22 August 2022

My old primary school gets five stars for healthiness!

[SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH VIDEO] As a former student of Mona Heights Primary School, and now UNICEF’s Nutrition Consultant, from the moment I stepped back onto the playground, I was overjoyed to see the great work being done to provide a school environment that demonstrates positive healthy nutrition and physical activity. From growing their own food…, Children modelling healthy living habits , Modelling healthy habits has become a part of the children’s behaviour. This shift has also resulted in a healthy school culture.  I saw happy, healthy students now driving the activities who were excited to be involved, enthused to line up to buy fruits as snacks or for smoothies, skilled in growing their own foods and who understood why this was…, Commitment from school leadership   , Replicating what Mona Heights is doing at other schools will first take commitment among school leadership and staff to invest in school nutrition and health as a critical step to improving the well-being and learning of our children. We all know that schools must balance many responsibilities daily. Therefore, they will want to carefully consider…, Fighting obesity; recovering post-pandemic , This represents serious threats to their long and short-term health, wellness and development – increasing their risk of NCDs like high blood pressure and type II diabetes; mental health impacts such as depression, social isolation, low self-esteem, and poor educational attainment; and causing significant emotional and financial cost to families.…, What’s UNICEF doing? , Health and nutrition are a foundation for education. UNICEF’s Nutrition Programme aims to protect the right of infants, children and young people to safe, nutritious food and recognizes that healthy, well-nourished children and adolescents learn better.  Jamaica urgently needs a National School Nutrition Policy to combat the rise of NCDs and…
13 May 2018

All Jamaican mothers deserve baby-friendly hospitals

Not many people know this, but my degree from UTech was in Child and Adolescent Development. So I know about the benefits of breastfeeding and it’s always been something I wanted to do when I was ready to be a mother. So it’s doubly important for me as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador that more mothers are able to breastfeed. We’re recommended as…, Breastfeeding at nine months, My experience makes it all the more important for me to support the  UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative . BFHI is about certifying hospitals who have the necessary practices and standard to support mothers to breastfeed. Currently  we have just two baby-friendly hospitals in Jamaica : Alexandria Community Hospital in St Ann and Princess…, Supportive hospital staff, When I got Zyon I instantly fell in love when from I put him on my breast. I was looking straight into his eyes and he was just looking at me and looking for the breast. My son had no problems latching. I’ve always heard stories ‘Oh my baby didn’t latch and my nipples were hurting me.’ But for me it wasn’t like that.  But what happened was when I…, Need more trained nurses, And I said ‘Nurse there’s nothing coming!’ But she said ‘It will come, just keep doing it’ and she was really encouraging me to continue, and I remember turning to her. I said to her: ‘Do not under any circumstances give my child any formula! I do not want my child to have any formula because I want to breastfeed my baby.’ We need more nurses who…, Making the right decisions, When I had my child I was fortunate. There was a lactation specialist who came immediately to my room to talk to me about breastfeeding, about the advantages of the breast, engorged breasts, mastitis, latching and stuff like that.. That’s what we need with baby-friendly hospitals – having all that information in front of us, so that we can make…