by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Newcomer corporate benefactor Coyaba Beach Resort donated $10,000
- 2018 ‘Pump It Up’ raised $22,000 towards Carlton Home
- Alarming statistics – 80% of our deaths are by chronic diseases
3 years since pledging their commitment in 2016 towards re-establishing the Carlton Home for drug rehabilitation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd has passed the quarter mark by raising $155,329.19 of their 5-year target goal of $500,000.
These funds were raised from the staging of the bank’s annual Co-op Bank ‘Pump It Up’ family fun walk which is now into its 11th year as part of the bank’s Healthier Lifestyles Programme launched on 12 June 2008, and from contributions from benefactors including Jonas Browne & Hubbard, FLOW Grenada Ltd, Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd, and Antillean Life Insurance.
The Healthier Lifestyles Programme promotes within the Grenadian population, the habit of regular exercise to help ward off non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, cancer and diabetes.
This year, Managing Director of Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd, Richard Duncan, said focus will be placed on improving the experience of participants since it was observed that with many people participating in the walk this has created some congestion on the road.
“Last year between Grenada and Carriacou and Grenada we had 5,400 [people] on the road; and I have said repeatedly that our roadway has a limited carrying capacity, not only for vehicles but for human beings as well and therefore we have to manage and limit the number of people we put on this one. Because I have seen where even on a fun walk people have been basically trying to get past each other on the narrow road because they want to be in front. I have also seen young kids’ getting trampled upon, so I think we [should] have a decent number so that people can enjoy themselves on the walk.”
During the launch of the 2019 ‘Pump It Up’ family fun walk at the bank’s headquarters on Church Street, Ronald Hughes, Managing Director of Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd suggested that instead of limiting the number of people that can participate in the walk, the bank should consider releasing patrons in batches to avoid congestion.
The Ministry of Health also has a vested interest in ensuring that Grenada Co-operative Bank accomplishes its goal, since the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases is unprecedented.
Senior Medical Officer Dr Sonia Nixon with responsibility for chronic non-communicable diseases, highlighted the statistics surrounding substance abuse, especially among women. She said we tend to forget that substance abuse is an illness and most times resort to blaming victims suffering from this illness.
“Unsettling statistics show increased numbers in the use of alcohol almost widely used substance… but sadly among our youth and our female population, we have seen in recent years that the ongoing increase in use while we still are grasping to control the spiralling numbers of chronic diseases and premature death… I saw some very alarming statistics that 80% of our deaths are by chronic diseases.”
Dr Nixon said in the design of Carlton Home, the ministry will give priority to the people who have the greatest need for intervention. “It goes beyond having one house with 10 beds. You may need a house that has 10 acute beds and 30 beds, because I may need 2 weeks of rehab while Mr Duncan may need 6 months of rehab. So it depends. What we are trying to do is to look at the people with the greatest needs first and we have to start small because we don’t have a lot of money.”
As it has become customary each year during the launch, corporate benefactors made their financial pledge. Jonas Browne & Hubbard, FLOW Grenada Ltd, and Antillean Group each donated $15,000 while Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd and newcomer Coyaba Beach Resort donated $10,000 each.
This year the 11th annual ‘Pump It Up’ family fun walk will take place on April 7th on the sister isle of Carriacou and on the 28th in Grenada.
Last year’s ‘Pump It Up’ walk had over 5,000 participants and raised $22,000 towards Carlton Home.