Health and prevention

Health and prevention are key topics in the municipality's future investments in the development of the municipality. By taking preventive measures now, we can avoid having to fix issues later on.

Lifestyle diseases caused by physical inactivity and unhealthy living have truly manifested in north-western Greenland.

Overweight or obesity is a growing problem among children and adults alike, costing society substantial amounts every year. Obesity comes with massive human costs in the form of chronic secondary complications such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Preventing inactive lifestyles and the fight against obesity are interdisciplinary and cross-sector jobs that involve a number of different actors – both municipal and private. We must join forces if we want to change the gloomy statistics.

Good cooperation across actors is a fundamental condition for success.

Qaasuitsup Municipality defines health as physical, mental and social well-being. Health is much more than the absence of disease.

Health is also about quality of life, about feeling a sense of solidary and meaning. Health cannot be considered isolated, but must be considered in the context of each person's heritage, resources, lifestyle, network, living conditions etc.

Lifestyles and habits are developed in early childhood and are difficult to change later on. Consequently, it is important to take early action targeting children especially and their parents as role models.

Children and young people tend to be quite lackadasial about risks and often have poor habits when it comes to dental care, diet, smoking, alcohol, sniffing and experimenting with weed. We need to considerably change the mind-set of our children and young.

In that process, we must make good use of previous municipal experience with young as role models.

A healthier diet and increasing physical activity are to be main elements in the municipality's strategy to battle passive lifestyles and obesity with children and the young. We need to focus on the food we eat and how we can bring more local produce to our canteens, kiosks and supermarkets to present healthy alternatives to junk food, snacks, candy and soda.

We must also focus on bettering our citizens' possibilities of physical activity in institutions, school, work places, outdoor areas etc.

The larger towns must provide good recreational opportunities near residential areas such as playgrounds and activity squares where you can play games, play ball and ride skateboards in the summer, and ride sleds, ice skate and ski in the winter.

In settlements, a playground can provide settings for hours' of entertaining games and exercise. There must be easy accessibility and good framework conditions for leisure boats and sled dogs in the municipality's towns and settlements, as they are important means of transport to experience and be active in nature.

Local sports associations (running clubs, skiing clubs, soccer clubs etc.) play an extremely important role in terms of health and prevention.

Qaasuitsup Municipality wants to support the many volunteers that work hard to boost healthy living in the municipality.

Through increasing cooperation and small events, such as award shows, the municipality will try to highlight the many citizens and associations that make a difference.