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First Women’s Health-a-Thon in Seychelles |06 November 2019

First Women’s Health-a-Thon in Seychelles

“Seychelles has seen an alarming increase in obesity; an increase in chronic diseases and one of the highest rates of foot amputations in all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries – these numbers are horrific and are a call for action.”


A Women’s Health-a-Thon open to members of the public is scheduled to take place on Saturday November 9, 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the National Sports Council (NSC) Hall, Roche Caïman.

A range of activities promoting a healthier lifestyle are part of the day’s programme. These include a choice of fitness classes, dietary advice by way of a live cooking show by Hilton Seychelles and a variety of stalls showcasing a range of local produce.

Healthcare professionals will be present on the day to offer one-to-one consultations about chronic diseases, lifestyle and diet changes; complemented by short 15-minute talks about relevant healthcare topics.

The day’s events are targeted at both adults and children with many fun activities planned for children of all ages. Local artists Joe Samy and Mia will be present to keep crowds entertained.

The highlight of the event and a first for Seychelles is a fashion show by cancer survivors.

The event is being organised by Soroptimist International Club of Victoria and Doctors 4 Doctors Seychelles (D4DS) with the backing of the US embassy based in Mauritius, with the objective of creating more awareness about non-communicable diseases and to stress the importance of healthier lifestyle choices.

Ahead of the Health-a-Thon, the Seychelles NATION spoke to a representative of the Doctors 4 Doctors Association, Dr Salma Farook, who is also a medical officer at the Seychelles Hospital, to learn more about the event.    

Speaking about the purpose of the Women’s Health-a-Thon, Dr Farook points out that recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) state that Seychelles has the highest proportion of overweight and obese men and women in sub-Saharan Africa; 74% of female patients are overweight.  

“Recently, Seychelles has seen an alarming increase in obesity; we are also seeing an increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. A recent survey showed that Seychelles has one of the highest rates of foot amputations in all OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. These numbers are horrific and are a call for action,” says Dr Farook.

One cause for concern here, as Dr Farook reveals, is that despite the high rate of obesity, studies show that most people in Seychelles consider themselves to be of normal weight.

She adds that at the centre of all these health issues are two important factors that need to be addressed: lifestyle and diet, noting that patient education is also important for combatting any disease. 

This is where the Women’s Health-a-Thon will play a major role in educating and motivating womenand the general public community to lead healthier lifestyles.

It is the hope of all the members of the organising team that the more relaxed atmosphere and setting of the Women’s Health-a-Thon will enable people to digest and accept the information that will be given.   

It has been said that if successful, there is a possibility that this will become an annual event in Seychelles.

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