Top C-K doc encourages ‘health literacy’

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Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Chatham-Kent’s Acting Medical Officer of Health.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

New Year’s wishes and resolutions are nice – but action is better.

That’s the word from Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Chatham-Kent’s Acting Medical Officer of Health.

As part of his message for the start of 2024, the physician has words of encouragement for the public – particularly to the 27,000 young people who call Chatham-Kent home.

“We want to give young people health literacy,” Nesathurai told The Voice in a recent interview. “Health is more than the absence of illness. We want young people to evaluate that and offer them the education and tools to empower them to make good choices.”

According to Nesathurai, society is still recovering from the detrimental effects wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic disrupted the lives of every family,” he said, as well as every institution.

“It changed the way we see the world,” Nesathurai emphasized, noting school closures affected the normal development of children and youth, especially in the area of socialization.

Not being able to engage socially had some adverse impacts, Nesathurai said.

“We need to be aware of that and recognize it as a challenge.”

Nesathurai has a number of suggestions for youth and the general public to embrace healthy living, including getting vaccinations, as well as adopting a healthy lifestyle through health literacy.

“Health literacy helps young people enter adulthood with the best possible tools,” Nesathurai stated.

He also said that it is up to the entire community to nurture health by creating physical environments that promote healthy lifestyle and influence good choices.

“More active lifestyles have better health outcomes,” he said.

 

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