Jennifer Attride-Stirling PhD Health Coordinator for the Department of Health spoke to the club on The Departments Well Bermuda programme

The Well Bermuda programme is not a wellness programme but a National Promotion Strategy developed with Government Organisations and agencies with an interest in this area.  Well Bermuda is not the beginning of health promotion but It is a unifying vision and voice, a point of convergence for health promoters and the community an effort to get everyone on board which has been a long time coming.  Today's health problems are strongly related to life style factors.  The main causes of death have shifted in the last 50 years from infectious diseases to chronic non-communicable diseases. Well Bermuda is organised around three themes, Healthy People, Healthy Families, Healthy Communities and fifteen goals based on health priorities and the Department of Health public health goals.


Healthy People : Diseases and Conditions; encourage maintenance of a healthy body weight for height, improve heart health, reduce prevalence of diabetes, improve cancer prevention awareness, improve chronic kidney disease awareness, mprove safe sex practices.

Healthy Families: Life cycle and population groups; Promote positive parenting, maintain healthy childhood developments, promote better quality of life for seniors, promote better quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Healthy Communities : Healthy environment and surroundings;  Maintain low incidence of food vector borne disease, encourage smoke and drug-free lifestyles,  promote prevention of injuries and violence,  encourage public enjoyment and respect for the environment, promote emergency preparedness in every household.


The Bermuda Health Survey 2006 showed some alarming trends. In 2006 63% of adults were overweight or obese (37% in 1999) and 24% of all children were also overweight or obese.  Heart disease was the leading cause of death in Bermuda in 2005, causing 36% of all deaths.  In the 2006 Health Survey 25% had high blood pressure (5% in 1999) 34% had high cholesterol (2% in 1999). Diabetes is a disabling condition that can have fatal consequences the survey showed 13% of adults reported diabetes up from 9% in 1999.  Cancer refers to a number of different illnesses characterised by abnormal cell growth.  In 2005 it was the leading cause of death in Bermuda accounting for 25% of all deaths, as noted earlier this has been overtaken by heart disease due to 87% of women having regular mammograms and 90% Pap test, and 75% of men having PSA tests and 77% digital rectal exams.


Well Bermuda is about all of us.  Health promotions can rein in problems and Well Bermuda aims to provide unifying vision, direction and coordination.  It is imperative that the process is shared among all public health partners.  The primary aim of the strategy is to bring us all together.