The [email protected] Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Warriors started visiting communities in and around Honiara on Friday to raise awareness the effects of NCDs and help reducing cases within the Solomon Islands.
They were able to cover a number of places including Tanagai area and White River Clinic, Rove Clinic, Independence Valley at White River, Rifle Range and Lengakiki.
The program is on-going.
The NCD Warriors program aims to educate young people and communities to promote local food and healthy lifestyles and help to stem the spread of NCDs in the Pacific.
They began their work in January last year. The [email protected] NCD Warriors team have found ways to help combat NCDs through advocacy, fun activities and training for schools. Though the team usually visit schools only, they have found the new community-centred approach effective.
The NCD warriors’ team went out to communities raising awareness about NCDs and discussing healthy eating, giving out pamphlets and giving out healthy snacks.
The [email protected] Partnership and Innovation’s Group Leader Simon Tomasusu said, “Unlike visiting schools, we just go out to the communities and do a sport show.”
He said “we found in some of the places we visited that some of these people only find out about NCD when they go to clinics to get treatments, and so the turnout was great.”
Presentations to the community were mostly informal, a method in which they felt comfortable to interact and discuss with the community, Simon said.
In addition to this new approach they also educate communities using drama, acting out scenes that will depict the effects of NCD and ways to avoid its risks.
Next week the team is planning on visiting rural areas in central and east Honiara.
[email protected] is implemented by SPC, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Ministry of National Unity, Peace and Reconciliation, the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs. [email protected] is an initiative to tackle youth unemployment in the Solomon Islands and is funded by the Australian Aid bilateral program, with assistance from its partner ministries.