The Ministry of Health held a press conference on Thursday, February 18th, 2021, to announce the launch of the ‘Healthy Together’ Campaign aimed at boosting public compliance with best practices and protocols.
Minister of Health, Renward Wells, acknowledged that the global pandemic has lasted much longer than anticipated, and pointed out that, “there is a great temptation to let our guard down and ease up on taking the necessary health precautions.”
He stated and cautioned, “Life is sacred and we must all place a high value on life to protect all Bahamians. We should always listen to the health authorities and the authorities in general. They have the responsibility to protect us. Do not develop a casual attitude. This can cost us our lives and those of our family members.”
The Minister encouraged Bahamians to face the new normal ‘Healthy Together’, as many people, including civil servants have been called back to work as of February 1st, 2021, private schools have resumed face-to-face and hybrid learning, and effective the week of February 22nd, 2021, public schools will also commence hybrid face-to-face learning. With more people in the same space and the need to continually practice physical distancing, Minister Wells said that he was pleased to announce the launch of the “Healthy Together” campaign.
The Healthy Together campaign, he explained, is an initiative designed to provide members of the public with a source of information and resources to promote and maintain health and wellness. The campaign takes an evidence-based approach to promote responsible behavior and encourages a mindset change in compliance with public health measures to protect the Bahamian population. Topics covered in the campaign include general safety tips such as mask-wearing and physical distancing best practices. Information about underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease and how to recognize a person suspected to have COVID-19 are also included. There are also guidelines for public interactions like face-to-face learning at school, the return to the workplace, fellowshipping at church, travelling and dining. The campaign will also provide tips and advice for those facing mental health challenges as a result of the pandemic, said Wells.
The multi-channel campaign, he continued, will feature images and videos to be circulated via social media, television, newspapers and an official campaign website, healthytogether.gov.bs, that will serve as a central hub for all information. Minister Wells advised, “very soon another tab will be added that stores all the information about the COVID-19 vaccine in The Bahamas. As we move along, there are plans to have many more additions to the website in the upcoming days.”
“Thanks to the Governmental leadership, acting on the advice of our healthcare professionals, and thanks to you and your efforts, the extremely devastating impact that this virus could have had on The Bahamas has not fully materialized,” said the minister. “Moreover, our success as a nation depends on continued, collective adherence to public health protocols. As the country prepares to resume more services, let us keep focused on the goal of limiting the spread of COVID-19.”
During the next two months, the ‘Healthy Together’ public awareness and education campaign will be rolled out across all channels, said Minister Wells. Coupled with evolving government policies and resources to battle COVID-19, he conveyed that the public’s continued cooperation can serve to keep the worst days of the pandemic behind us and prevent a third wave.
To learn more about the campaign, visit the ‘Healthy Together’ website at healthytogether.gov.bs.