In an effort to increase public awareness on matters of health and literacy, NALIS hosted its first Fit for Literacy, Fit for Life Walk and Health Fair for the year in San Fernando on Wednesday April 5, 2017.
The walk, which started and ended at the Promenade and coordinated by South libraries, was held in commemoration of World Health Day (April 7). Booths set up on the Promenade offered free blood pressure, diabetes, vision screening and other basic health checks to members of the public. The health fair also showcased resources available on health at libraries and provided linkages between reading, education and the development of healthy lifestyles.
Some 200 persons participated in the event. Among them were San Fernando’s Mayor, Junia Regrello; teachers and students from schools in and around San Fernando; authors Michael Anthony, Arti Gosine and Shalinie Mahabir, who autographed books for participants; and library staff. Participating organisations included Moms for Literacy, Reach Out and Touch Foundation, Adult Literacy Tutors Association, South-West Regional Health Authority, NICER Foundation and the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
Addressing the gathering before the walk, Hazel Hazzard-Samuda, NALIS’ Director, Public Libraries Division (Ag.) talked about the relationship between low literacy levels and poor health. She said, “Persons who cannot read would not have the capacity to obtain, process and understand the basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”
Two more Fit for Literacy, Fit for Life events are scheduled to take place later this year. Visit the NALIS website at www.nalis.gov.tt for more details about NALIS’ upcoming programmes and events.
NALIS’ network of libraries across the nation provide access to information, in all formats to support the developmental and recreational needs of the population.