This year the focus for Caribbean Wellness Day is on Children with the supporting theme "Healthy Children in Healthy Environments"
The CARICOM Heads of Summit on Chronic Diseases in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, September 2007, established Caribbean Wellness Day. Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) is observed every year on the second Saturday of September. Inaugurated in 2008, CWD is an annual event which provides an opportunity to increase the awareness of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) burden in the Caribbean; mobilise and strengthen public, private, and civil society partnerships for NCDs; promote multi country, multisectoral activities in support of wellness; and showcase national and community level activities to promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop good health practices.
The first four years 2008-2011, focused on raising awareness of Caribbean Wellness Day at the national, regional and international levels. In 2012, a decision was taken to focus on preventing and controlling NCDs throughout the life course during 2012-2015. Caribbean Wellness Day observance was to be integrated into national NCDs Programmes to ensure sustainability. The following focus and themes were proposed for 2012-2015:
- 2012 focused on children under the theme "Building the foundation for building healthy lifestyles"
- 2013 focused on youth ages 15-29 under the theme "Safeguarding the health of our youth for a brighter future"
- 2014 focused on adults "Preserving the workforce for national and regional development"
- 2015 focused on the elderly "Improving the quality of life of the Region’s ageing population".
For the period 2016–2019, CARPHA proposes that CWD be aligned with the Port of Spain Declaration - NCDs Agenda, as part of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH). The overall theme Love That Body will remain the same and CARPHA recommends that the lifecycle approach of 2012-2015 be repeated. The following is proposed:
- 2016 the focus is on children "Healthy Children in Healthy Environments"
- 2017 the focus is on youth ages 15-29 "A Brighter Future for our Youth"
- 2018 the focus is on adults "Preserving the Workforce"
- 2019 the focus is on the elderly "Healthy Ageing"
Member States are given the opportunity to feature their successes and milestones through the Life Course based on the 2012 – 2015 themes. These may include:
- Policies implemented
- Sustainable programmes implemented
- Supportive environments developed
- Building of personal health skills enhanced
- Communities empowered
- Alliances established