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Georgetown, Guyana – (April 6, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, this morning, said that she was pleased that the Guyana Business Coalition on Health Awareness (GBCHA) has expanded its mandate to include issues such as mental health in keeping with its overall aim to foster positive lifestyle choices among its members and in the wider society.

The First Lady was invited to the GBCHA Breakfast Meeting, which was held under the theme “Our Health, Our Business” in the Ballet Room at Cara Lodge. In an invited comment, Mrs. Granger said that she was interested in learning about all of the areas in which the GBCHA is working as topics such as diet and health lifestyle choices form part of the core syllabus of most of her programmes aimed at empowering women.

“I was very interested to learn all the areas in which they working and providing training and counselling, to members of the business community, particularly those, which are members of the said coalition. I’m very happy to see that they have expanded to address issues such as mental health, domestic violence and of course the health issues that affect people… We have to engage in lifestyle changes, change our diets, eliminate all the oils and fats that we tend to imbibe and live longer and more healthier lives through these changes in diet, responsible use of alcohol and, of course, minimal use of tobacco,” the First Lady said.

First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger (second from right), Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally, third from right) and other members of the Guyana Business Coalition on Health Awareness’s (GBCHA) Breakfast Meeting at the close of the meeting. Dr. William Adu-Krow, Country Representative, PAHO/WHO is also pictured fourth from right.

The GBHCA was founded in 2008 with the aim of providing HIV/AIDS awareness education in the workplace. In 2015, it expanded its mandate to include services in general health awareness in keeping with its overall goal of fostering compassionate leadership in the workplace and communities. The GBHCA provides technical assistance and mobilises the business sector in their response to HIV/AIDS and other non-communicable diseases, with assistance from their partners as well as agencies such as the Pan American Health/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).

Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Amna Ally, Dr. William Adu-Krow, Country Representative, PAHO/WHO, Dr. Util Richmond-Thomas, Director, Mental Health Unit, Ministry of Public Health, Ms. Donna Roberts-Benjamin, Chairperson, GBCHA Board, Mr. Parvesh Bhola, Executive Board Member, GBCHA, Ms. Enid Thom-Alleyne, Programme Manager at GBCHA, Mr. Andrew Astwood, Honorary Secretary, GBCHA Board also attended the meeting.

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