World Health Day
‘Valli Family’ members on a hike - Hollis Giddens, Petra Stangl, Nicola Schofield, Dean Browne. Photo Supplied

In the midst of our Covid pandemic peaking locally, and with a polluted planet, increasing diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and Russia’s aggression, the World Heath Organisation will this year focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy, and to foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.

World Health Day is celebrated annually and each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.

The theme for World Health Day 2022, on 7 April  is ‘our planet, our health’.

This date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation in 1948.

The organisation asks the questions, “Are we able to reimagine a world where clean air, water and food are available to all?

Where economies are focused on health and well-being? Where cities are liveable and people have control over their health and the health of the planet?”

Our local businesses and schools are feeling the effects of Covid right now, with schools dealing with staff and student absences and the wine industry anxious about getting through the harvest successfully.

A focus on well-being and a gratitude for what we have been able to achieve is crucial for our well-being and that of our children.

Fortunately, in the Cromwell area, we have plenty of examples of care and aroha.  Employers are showing kindness, gratitude and concern for their staff.  Last week, Armando ’s Kitchen closed the doors for a day, and all cycled the Dunstan Cycle Trail.

There are many other examples.  Holly Giddens, of Valli Wines, says, “We do Valli Family hikes/tramps/camping several times a year.  It’s great fun.

We also hold a ‘Valli Rally’ once a year, which has a bit of work/big picture stuff but also includes wellbeing speakers and activities.”

Local organisation are helping.

Connect Cromwell encourage well-being and community connections by such events as Neighbours Day, Crop Swap and Kai Connections and initiates community activities like Disc Golf.

Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust works hard to engage the community and school students in the future health of our lake environment.

Its Community Engagement Co-ordinator, Megan Phillips says,

“Ensuring that we have a healthy environment impacts on all aspects of our lives – personal well-being, family relationships, businesses – each is a reflection of the other.”

Makiki Trust aims to restore and establish pockets of indigenous biodiversity in Cromwell and surrounding areas.

To maintain your family’s wellbeing, and ease your child’s (and your) anxiety in the current climate, here are some ideas:

take time to ask the family over mealtime to rate their day out of ten, and to say what their high point was;

limit the amount of news alerts you watch in front of your children, especially on the Ukraine War; get outside and move/play;

address your child’s concern about the pandemic or the chance of war, even if you think they are too dramatic;

involve the family in recycling and other small things to help the planet and give a sense of satisfaction.