The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations’ (IFMSA-Grenada’s) Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH), a St. George’s University student group, again partnered with Athletic Development Group (ADG) to deliver its second Fitness Day to families at the Morne Rouge playing field on Saturday, March 29. A community partnership that emphasizes prevention, education, and family involvement, Fitness Day spices up the classic health fair model with family and fitness activities such as face painting, cricket, soccer, and group aerobic exercises. St. George’s University (SGU) students and faculty also provided health screening services and offered education in chronic disease management in keeping with IFMSA’s goal of addressing chronic disease in Grenada.
“At the core of health promotion is involvement of a diversity of communities and age groups,” said Jenna Nakagawa, past Director of SCOPH. “We want to show that public health is not just about education; it’s about enabling access, and encouraging participation.”
“Fitness Day directly aligns with IFMSA’s mission to develop future doctors’ awareness of global health issues. The prevalence of obesity is increasing in Grenada and other developing countries, posing new population health concerns such as diabetes mellitus type II and other non-communicable, chronic conditions in addition to the infectious diseases that have historically been the predominant issues in the developing world,” said Ms. Pier Hart, President of IFMSA-Grenada. “Global health issues are notably changing and Fitness Day increases SGU students’ awareness of these emerging issues while promoting the prevention of obesity and related chronic conditions in the Grenadian community.” Organisers hope to host Fitness Day every semester and to eventually branch out into other parishes.
Fitness Day, first held in October 2013, was originally conceived of by Felix Thomas, SAS ’11, and Chapin Paullin, co-founders of ADG Grenada, a local community development organization that facilitates after-school team sporting activities for youth. Fitness Day is at once a showcase for ADG’s youth activities and a promotional event for community health.
“We have to get the youth involved in physical activity starting at a young age—it empowers them, teaches important life skills, promotes healthy lifestyles, and benefits the whole community,” said Mr. Thomas.