Barbados Ministry of Health

by HCC

Barbados Ministry of Health

Barbados Ministry of Health Demographics
The Barbados Ministry of Health have implemented a series of initiatives aimed at creating a healthy workplace including health competitions, challenges or games (e.g. fitness and weight loss challenges); connecting participation to a cause (e.g. contribution to a charity) and health promotion campaigns, this has been ongoing for more than 3 years. They have allocated a budget for healthy workplace initiatives but have not yet established a wellness committee. The initiatives have been successful for the small percentage who consistently attend the programme.Workplace Vision/Mission
The Ministry of Health is to promote and manage health, and ensure environmental concerns are considered in all aspects of national development, through the provision of comprehensive, coordinated and integrated care, supported by appropriately trained staff, national leadership and standards of excellence.Successes
A weekly physical activity programme.

There is a need for a designated, appropriately designed space for the programme.

Corporate Community Responsibility
The funding of community health promotion activities and events. Proactive engagement with government and civil society efforts in the area of health and wellness.

Healthy Workplace Programme – 16 key elements:


Occupational Safety and Health

A mechanism is in place in your workplace that allows for reporting on and acting on occupational safety and health issues (accidents, illnesses)


Tobacco Use Cessation

There is an established and enforced policy making company buildings and parking lots tobacco/smoke-free

The sale and advertisement of tobacco products is prohibited on worksite premises

The company refuses to accept or promote sponsorship from tobacco companies, or companies affiliated to the tobacco industry


Healthy eating

Information and resources on healthy diets (including the adverse effects of unhealthy diets such as those high in sugar, salt, cholesterol, saturated and trans fat; and the importance of reducing portion sizes) are visible and readily available in the workplace

There is easy to access safe drinking water (e.g. water coolers)

Workers have access to an on-site registered dietician


Breastfeeding Support

No policy in place


Physical Activity Enhancement

Information and resources on physical activity are visible and readily available in the workplace

There are on-site fitness instructor led exercise classes


Mental Health and Stress Management

The company has an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP is a professional counselling service for employees that may be experiencing emotional distress from personal or work-related problems

Information and resources on mental health, resiliency and stress management are visible and readily available in the workplace

There are regular employee communication opportunities (e.g. team meetings, one-to-one meetings)

There are opportunities for personal and professional development

There are moral boosting activities (e.g. employee lunches, birthday celebrations, sports teams)


Alcohol Reduction

Information on the harmful effects of alcohol is visible and readily available in the workplace


Disability in the Workplace

Facilities (e.g. ramps, suitably equipped washrooms etc.) are in place at your workplace for ease of use by those with disabilities

Employs known disabled persons


Return to Work for People Living with NCDs

There is an established and enforced policy preventing discrimination against those returning to work after treatment for NCDs


Work-life Balance

Job sharing scheme


Screening and Treatment for NCDs

There is biometric screening – clinical data on body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol level

Due to the nature of the workplace, health care professionals are available but they are not officially designated as workplace HCPs


NCD prevention Information, Education and Resources

Information and resources about diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, and mental health are visible and readily available in the workplace

Health awareness days (e.g. World Health Day; Caribbean Wellness Day) are celebrated or employee health fairs are hosted


Healthy Living rewards or incentives

Workers are provided with incentives to adopt healthy behaviours (e.g. British Petroleum health regime initiative – every million steps rewarded 250 points and when 1K points accumulated per annum rewarded with a reduction in insurance premiums for the following year)


Multisectoral Partnerships

The company is represented on a multisectoral NCD prevention and control coordination mechanism such as a National NCD Commission or Wellness Commission

Representatives of the company have participated in the design of the national NCD strategic plan or policy

Involvement in the BCCI walk the talk steps challenge/participation in the Cancer walks

Government employees benefit from discounted/ free professional counselling if needed


Monitoring and Evaluation

Short informal reports are written on the participation in 5ks and other activities sponsored by Ministry


Community Volunteerism

Informally the Task Force on Physical Activity provides resource persons for community activities when needed

See below some images from the Barbados Ministry of Health, healthy workplace activities.

Visit the Barbados Ministry of Health Facebook page here.