Provincial Health Festival- 2016

1. Entrance of the exhibition

The ‘Provincial Health Festival – 2016 ‘ was jointly organized by the Department of Community & Family Medicine, and the Ministry of Health, Northern Province of Sri Lanka with support from the medical students of the 35th batch of Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna with the support of the staff from the faculty and Teaching Hospital Jaffna. The objective was to create awareness among the public on prevention of Non Communicable Diseases (NDCs). It was held from 18th to 20th of February 2016 at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.

Non Communicable diseases (NCDs) such as Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Diseases, Cancer and Chronic Kidney Diseases are increasing. Prevention of these diseases is high priority for the development of the region and the country. The goal of this festival was ‘to improve the healthy lifestyle and prevent the Non Communicable Diseases. The main objective of this community programme is to create awareness and change the attitudes towards healthy lifestyle which will promote the healthy behavior among public of the local community. Prevention of these diseases is high priority for the Health development of the country.

This Health festival was inaugurated jointly by the Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna and the Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services, Northern Province on 18th of February 2016 at 10 am. Several University staff and Health officials participated this inauguration ceremony. During this all three days more than five thousand people visited this festival. Several schools in Jaffna district visited this festival by arranging special buses. Publics from several parts of the peninsula visited with their kids and gained a lot regarding the healthy life style.The faculty arranged a press briefing, which was conducted by the Dean, Faculty of Medicine on 11.02.2016 regarding the Provincial Health Festival to make awareness among the public.

DAN TV, Sakthi TV and all local newspapers locally available online Medias published news to reach the public regarding the Provincial Health Festival and supported the effort.

Six key activities were carried out:

Food court with innovative , tasty, and healthier snacks, and beverages with cookery demonstration:

Healthy recipes in six categories were invited through the Medias. Seventy healthy recipes were received. A cookery competition was organized on 7th February 2016. Out of seventy, 40 food items which satisfied the criteria were selected for the food festival. During the food festival, food items were displayed with recipes and people were allowed to taste it.  Prize winners were invited during the festival and were honored.

A 70 paged Booklet  with selected innovative food recipes  was published and  issued to the public free of charge.


Food court with healthier traditional food:

Several kinds of traditional foods were introduced and the prepared foods were displayed with demonstration.   Ingredients of each food items were also displayed with these traditional foods.  Opportunity to the viewers to taste those food items was provided. Displayed foods were kept in the vessels, which were made by clay as it is also one of our traditional practices.. The Role of the traditional foods on prevention of NCDs was explained by the medical students and volunteers. Ten traditional cottages were established by using cadjans, palmyrah leaves and straw to give the environment a traditional look. The Explanations were given in these huts. People were allowed to taste these traditional foods.

A booklet containing 60 pages with traditional food items was published and freely issued to the public.


Programme for the young children was also held motivating them  to eat more fruits and increase their physical activities:

In this section explanations were held to motivate the children to eat fruits and encourage them to involve in physical activities. Some events such as cycling, musical chair, ball passing, Snakes and ladders, and drawing were organized. Most of the children happily participated with their parents.  Infant and young children feeding such as breast feeding, complementary feeding were explained.

A short film “khw;wk;” was filmed by medical students to make awareness among the children and also to the parents regarding the healthy lifestyle modification. A 40 paged booklet was published and issue to the public free of charge.

Encouraging home gardening:

a home garden competition was conducted with the help of the Agriculture department three months prior to the carnival. Selected beneficiaries were invited and motivational talks were given by medical students to encourage home gardening. The staff of the Department of Agriculture with medical students gave instructions about home gardening, organic pest control preparation and organic fertilizer preparation to the people. Seeds, herbal plants and instruments were issued to the beneficiaries. After 3 weeks of initial preparation of home garden medical students visited the beneficiaries’ home with the personal from the Agriculture department to instruct about the home garden and clear the doubts regarding home gardening. Three of them were selected for best home gardening. Model home garden was displayed on the day of festival by the first prize winning beneficiary. Organic farming vegetables stall was conducted.

Medical students explained the different types of plants that will improve the nutrition, to be grown in their homes through the organic pesticides & natural fertilizer preparation fr0m home waste and how to use air space for home gardening in apartments.

A Video clip consisting of organic home gardening was exhibited.  Booklet  containing 65 pages was published and  issue to the public free of charge .

Improvement of physical activity :

As the part of this activity ‘Health Walk’ was conducted on 15.02.2016. this walk commenced at 8.30 am from the  PDHS Office Pannai and it was jointly inaugurated by Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna and Secretary of the Health Ministry Northern Province. Participants were around 1000 including staff from Ministry of Health, District Secretariat, Divisional Secretariat, University of Jaffna and students form University of Jaffna and Technical College and general public. The walk concluded at the University Playground around 10 am. Awareness banners and leaflets were published

A model “Health City’ concept was explained by the medical students during the festival. Exercise & Life style modifications were also shown. Traditional games were conducted among the school students to promote physical activities. Many students participated. Physical activities suitable for different age groups were designed. They were for adolescents, Pregnancy women and Post- partum women. Exercise techniques were demonstrated. Video clip document regarding how to do the physical activities was also released.

Booklet “Rftho;Tk; clw;gapw;rpAk;”  containing 68 pages was published and issued to the public free of charge . Another 11 paged booklet also was published and issued to the public free of charge.

Encouragement for health checkup:

This section had NCD screening such as Random Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, Vision and Body Mass Index were done by Medical Officers.  Other sections educated regarding importance of regular NCDs screening and encouraged the public as to where they can access these health checkup facilities. Most of the banners were shown regarding the NCDs.

Video clip on Lifestyle clinics was exhibited.  Booklet containing 30 pages was published and free issues were given  to the public.