Fruitful pursuits!

 

Last week Adeje council invited the winners of a healthy food art competition to the department of health to receive their prizes. The aim of the competition was to encourage healthier lifestyles among the borough’s young people.

As the local councillor for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, explained, during April of this year the council, through the public primary schools, introduced a competition under the slogan (translated) “Eat healthily, live healthily”. The main aim was to help the children assimilate information leading them to improve their eating habits and thus prevent the later development of health issues related to inadequate nutrition.

The competition was directed at children in primary schools, in particular promoting the importance of fruit and vegetables in the pursuit of a balanced diet, meaning the body gets the nutrition it needs to grow and develop. There were different categories depending on the ages of the student.

The winners were Maryam Lagder Rodríguez (CEIP Fañabe), Valentina Peroni (CEIP Armeñime) and Gabriela Rivero Siverio (CEIP Las Torres). Their parents were presented with their prizes in the offices of the department of health, where they were given vouchers for schools materials for this year.

Department of Communications

Adeje Council: Statement regarding the appearance of micro-algae along the coast

 
The Adeje department for the protection of health, following recommendations issued by the regional department of public health, is advising the public to avoid bathing in the sea where microalgae blooms have appeared in swimming areas of Adeje. Physical contact with the blooms of microalgae, both in the sea and on shore, should also be avoided.

The health department, in co-ordination with the department with responsibility for beaches, has detected the presence of the algae, which appears on the sea surface. The colour is similar to light brown sand, and has been seen along various parts of the island coast line in recent days. These ‘blooms’ of microalgae, which have been seen in bathing zones, have not actually caused any notable damage to date.

Furthermore, the local health department is stating that this is a natural phenomenon produced under certain environmental conditions, the consequence of diverse biological factors, climatic and environmental. The blooms appear sporadically and the vast majority of microalgae are innocuous, although some may product toxins that could affect health, in particular via direct contact, ingestion of water with spores, or inhalation of sea spray.
This council, as a general recommendation, is passing on the advice of the regional department of health, not to bathe in the sea and avoid direct contact with the algae in bathing areas where ‘a change in the colour of the sea water is detected, with spots of intense colour variation, where there is minimum transparency’. If there are beach activities scheduled, the organisers should take these precautions into consideration, and follow the advice at all times of the lifeguards and local police on duty.

The councillor with responsibility for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, has been in contact with the Adeje health centre and to date there have been no reported incidences of anyone presenting with injuries or conditions related to the algae.

Department of Communications

Over 2,000 people have used Adeje health programmes

“…the programmes with the highest approval ratings have been those dealing with drug addiction prevention and treatment.”

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According to the numbers released by the Adeje department of health, under the guidance of councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, over two thousand individuals have taken advantage of programmes, activities, workshops and courses being run by the department on health and quality of life.

The programmes with the highest approval ratings have been those dealing with drug addiction prevention and treatment run in the borough’s secondary schools, IES El Galeón and IES Adeje with almost 700 people taking part, including students, teachers and family members. The main objective is the prevention of drug use and promotion in schools and home, leading to an overall drop in the number of users.

Another programme in this area is the NOVA SUR project, directed at families with young adults of 14-22 years of age, which has helped 12 families with therapeutic intervention.

The department also hosted 35 workshops on sex education, avoiding unwanted pregnancies, safe sex practises, etc. Nearly 900 people took part from secondary schools and participants also looked at the issue of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and discrimination issues. The information service regarding sexually transmitted diseases, which also offers a fast confidential testing service, dealt with 68 people so far this year.

The Pink Room/Sala Rosa, in the School of Security and Coexistence, a space for cancer patients and survivors and their families, continues to host talks and workshops with up to 70 people taking part in events so far. The department also offers professional care for those suffering eating disorders in collaboration with the ALABENTE association.
Other workshops that took place in the first six months of the year included themes of self esteem, personal growth, healthy lifestyle habits, and individual development. The department of health also is a partner in the Cabildo programme attending to those with dementias, including Alzheimer sufferers.

Good habits for better health

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The Adeje department of health has been organising a series of workshops and talks to reinforce how better habits mean improved health.

The Adeje department of health has organised a series of talks and workshops with the focus on the need for improving our lifestyle habits if we want to improve our health. This applies at individual and community level.

The events are free to attend and no prior registration is needed, and are taking place from now until May 12th, celebrating World Health Day which is on April 12th. “It is important from the council’s point of view that we do all we can in the field of prevention, and information is a basic tool in this. We are doing all we can to make sure that our residents are healthy and good lifestyle habits are key to minimising risks, or in the case of an underlying health problem, coping in a better way”, says the councillor with responsibility, Amada Trujillo Bencomo.

Activities
There will be workshops on food, and healthy exercise, for children in 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes in primary schools . These will be taking place in the borough’s public schools and the council hope the participants will realise the importance of eating properly and how taking exercise can help them avoid child obesity.

For secondary school students there will be sex education and drug prevention workshops .

For the general public the council have organised talks on so-called miracle diets, the benefits of physiotherapy after breast cancer, strengthening self-esteem, dealing with stress, eating disorders, etc. In parallel and in conjunction with the Santa Cruz Celiac Association the council have also set up workshops and events for those who are celiac. Finally the council are also intent upon establishing a Diabetic centre in the borough which will, with the Tenerife Diabetes Association, offer assessment and help for parents with diabetic children.

Information about courses and workshops is available online, www.adeje.es

Adeje opens anorexia and bulimia centre

 

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The centre is located in the deparment of  health and open from 8am to 3pm every Tuesday

The association that helps those with anorexia and bulimia in Tenerife, ALABENTE, has just started a public service based in Adeje offering specialised treatments for those suffering from eating disorders. The centre for treatment is based in the Adeje department of health, which is the building beside the town’s main post office, on c/ Tinerfe el Grande, 32. It is currently available on Tuesdays from 8am to 3pm.

A professional qualified team – a psychologist and a dietician – make up the team, and people interested can call 922 756257. The team will help in making assessments and deciding on care needed for individuals and families that are affected.

According to the Adeje councillor with responsibility for health, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, “it is difficult to estimate the numbers with eating disorders. In general most studies show a growth in the number of cases in developed countries”.

In Spain the statistics show that between 4-5% of the adolescent population will suffer from some form of disorder. Anorexia counts for 0.3%, bulimia for 0.8% and non-specific eating disorders are present among 3.1% of the female population between the ages of 12 and 21 years of age. The councillor said, “The size of the problem is evident – it affects at least one in every 10 adolescent girls”. Of the adolescent population only 5-10% of those affected are boys.

Amada Trujillo Bencomo and the Adeje councillor for local development, Manuel Luis Méndez Martin held the first meeting with the ALABENTE group in November of last year to ascertain the needs of affected persons in Adeje and how to establish a support structure here in South Tenerife. ALABENTE have been working since 1995 in the field with those suffering eating disorders as well as their families, with information, workshops, individual and group sessions, home visits, etc., with the aim of improving quality of life and aiding recovery for those affected.

Adeje Schools Fight Obesity

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The PIPO programme, a programme for intervention in the prevention of child obesity

The Adeje council and the regional department of health in collaboration with the national office of public health, put the PIPO programme into operation in schools during the 2013-2014 school term, a programme that uses intervention in the prevention of child obesity, promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity. The programme has been running in the borough’s public primary schools.

Adeje’s mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, along with councillors for health, social welfare, and education – Rafael Dolado, Amada Trujillo Bencomo and Andrés Pérez Ramos – met the person responsible for the project, Rosa Gloria Suárez López de Vergara, a doctor specialising in paediatrics and childcare with the national office of public health, who congratulated the Adeje council for introducing this kind of project which, “works to improve the health of the younger population”.

Mayor Rodríguez Fraga commented, “in Adeje we are very concerned about the health and lifestyle habits of our citizens, in particular the younger people, and for them these kind of projects that are based in schools are very relevant. We understand that training, prevention and rapid intervention where necessary are important elements as are healthy eating habits and regular physical exercise among other practises”.

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The importance of this programme is a reflection of the gravity of the existence of overweight children and adolescents in the Canary Islands. Intervention in schools is happening through a series of theoretical and practical workshops, with sessions to give students a greater awareness of what healthy eating habits are and why they are important and why physical exercise should be an integral part of their daily lives, according to the PIPO directors. The training programme is also directed at parents whose involvement in the programme is essential to reinforce the message learnt in school at home.

The programme was operational from May 13 – June 13 in the six infants and primary public schools in the borough with the participation of 304 students. It was carried out as a curricular activity, the students learning to recognise where food comes from, how it is processed and prepared, etc. In parallel children learnt how many times a day they should be eating food from each of the food groups using the food pyramid model.

Students in the programme showed high levels of interest in learning about healthy eating and were happy to take part in the different exercise activities. Finally there were asked to become health representatives in their schools and at home and given educational material to help them teach others.

The PIPO programme was first introduced in 2012 with references to the World Health Organisation strategies in the field of infant obesity prevention, and the national programmes for the health promotion and illness prevention. Other bodies directly involved, alongside the Adeje council, the regional and national departments of health and the regional government include the University of La Laguna, the European Action for Health programme, and the Adeje department for economic development and employment through the ‘Actívate’ programme, as well as the six education centres involved

Adeje Introduces Free HIV Testing Service

Regional director general for public health José Díaz - Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

Regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

This week the regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, presented a pilot project including a sexual information service and early rapid HIV detection testing. The service will be available in the Adeje health promotion department in the Centre for Tourism Development Costa Adeje (CDTCA) and testing will be carried out on Mondays and Thursdays, with an appointment, that can be made by phoning 922-756-257 or 922-756-244.

The object of the service is to offer information that should improve the general population’s awareness of sexually transmitted infections, reduce the incidence of HIV as well as unwanted pregnancies. The free testing service will be carried out in the presence of trained personnel and offers a guarantee of total confidentiality and should help those who, says the mayor, may not wish to go to their local health centre or talk to the own GP about testing. There will be personnel who will be able to assist people who have limited or no Spanish.
The mayor said they were already working with a sex education programme through local schools and secondary which was designed to give young people the knowledge they needed to develop their own sexuality independently and without risks. “We worry about the health of our citizens”, he said, “and we have felt it necessary to promote an educational campaign which will promote a healthier safer life for all. That’s why we are creating this Sex Information Point which will help people with their sexual orientation as well as the creation of a HIV testing centre that is discreet, with personalised attention and quick results”.

The regional director general for public health said that this was a pilot project, and if the results were good it would be repeated in other parts of the islands. “Illnesses caused by sexually transmission are a cause of worry for the administrations, particularly heath bodies. The most worrying is HIV. In the Canary Islands we are seeing 250 new cases annually, and the problem nationally and internationally is that 30 % of those who are infected don’t know, and therefore we have to reinforce the need for early detection which will prevent the development of other parallel infections and greatly improve the quality of life of the person who is HIV positive”.
Flores Estévez said that the profile of those diagnosed with HIV has changed, and today the largest group are those who are infected through unprotected sex – 93.7 of which 71% are men who have sexual relations with other men. Only 3.4% of new cases are as a result of intravenous drug use

The project includes a number of other initiatives such as an awareness raising drive among the public with social and professional agencies working together in education, with associations and families offering a series of talks and workshops on sexual behaviour and better health. There will also be prevention projects aimed at the borough’s young people and talks for parents and educators in co-ordination with local health centres, social services and youth groups.

Fast testing service
The staff who will be carrying out the HIV testing service are health professionals who will adhere to a rigid and approved protocol based on confidentiality and the rights of those using the service. The regional department of public health is assisting in the carrying out of the tests which can be done either via oral fluid or digital blood testing (OraQuick Advance and INSTI HIV-1/2 respectively). The test results are known within 20 minutes. Prior to administering the test the person seeking the test will be told about what it entails and a quick interview will be held solely to determine if it is really necessary. Throughout the entire procedure the intimacy of the person seeking the test is respected.

Top Water Quality

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Adeje has been working for a number of years to improve the quality of water in the borough, and the water that reaches our taps comes from both the island’s natural water galleries and the desalination plants here in the area. The council has also been working with the locally based company charged with improving the quality of the water and today, says the councillor for works in Adeje Gonzalo Delgado, Adejeros can count on top quality water.
The ongoing system of vigilance led to the detection of boron in a number of isolated cases last month, all of which have been resolved. In fact, according to regional comparisons, Adeje carries out the most controls of tap water of any of the Canarian boroughs, checking a number of factors including smell, taste, colour, ph balance, bacterial presence, fluoride, nitrates, etc. With the opening of the desalination plant in La Caleta in 2011, in addition to the Adeje-Arona plant already in operation, the quality improved further. In 2012, says Delgado, there were 320 separate inspections carried out, 57.26 per cent of them in private homes, and 42.7 per cent in public and commercial spaces, and according to the results published by the National Water Consumption Information System all the water in Adeje is apt for consumption.
Beaches
The Municipal Laboratory also carried out controlled studies on the water quality in the borough’s beaches, important for maintaining blue flag status, as well as for consumers, with highly satisfactory results, with the sea water by Adeje beaches of “excellent quality”, so good news for bathers.

Mediterranean Diet Saves Lives

 

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Yesterday Lluis Serra Majem, during his lectura as part of the Adeje Summer University, confirmed what many of us suspected; the Mediterranean diet really is better for you.
Remember the saying, “at the table no-one grows old”, well at least if they stick to a good diet, with olive oil and dried fruits rather than over indulging in carbohydrates they won’t have a heart attack says Serra Majem, who is the director of the department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health in the University of Las Palmas.
His conclusions are based on the recently published results of the Predimed study, a nutritional study that examined the eating habits of 7,500 individuals over three years including a group from the Canarias. The results show clearly that those who use virigin olive oil and dried fruits as a regular part of their diet are reducing their mortality rate by up to 30%. He said that too often people place too much emphasis on fats as the problem in the increase in the levels of obesiety but the real culprits are carbs, particularly sugar. In this way the traditional Mediterranean diet is always a better option, and studies have also indicated that this diet can aid in the prevention and treatment of depression.
Referring back to the growing (excuse the pun) problem of obesiety, particularly among children here in the Canaries, the speaker said that too many people in the Canaries still fail to consider obesity an illness or a problem. He said that for many who lived 50 years ago when the population suffered from nutriticional deficiencies today grandparents and parents are happy to feed their children up, thinking they are building up their defences, but in reality they are creating a whole new spread of health problems.
By sticking to the Mediterranean diet, and that applies here in the Canaries too with regional and cultural additions such as gofio, and what’s to hand such as fish, local wines, etc, the population could be healthier. But the fast-food invasion has taken its toll, food that is prepared and consumed too quickly and “too often spurred on by tourism. Spain is a tourist country, and the arrival of so many tourists in a relatively short space of time has produced a change in our eating habits because we appeared unable to offer traditional dishes to toursts…”
There is, apparently, a proposal to make 2014 International Year of the Mediterranean Diet, aqnd the move already has the backing of the Spanish government, and would see a series of financial incentives offered to promote the Mediterranean Diet. “In times of crisis it is important to back intitiatives that will have an important impact. More than ever people need to be able to use their food budgets in the best possible way”; he said.