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All Saints University hosts health fair

All Saints University hosts health fair


The key to a healthy lifestyle is about knowing what one needs to do to live one.{{more}}

And this was what the students of the All Saints University Medical School set out to do when their second health fair was conducted last Saturday, in Kingstown.

“People need to be more aware of health and that is what All Saints University is doing,” Raquel Creese, third year medical student and coordinator of the event, told SEARCHLIGHT.

According to Creese, the fair was held to give persons who may not have the financial means to visit a doctor the opportunity to receive the basic screening for a number of diseases, including Diabetes, Hypertension and HIV/AIDS.

More importantly, she told SEARCHLIGHT, the idea is to provide those who come to visit with information they need to know to prevent diseases, which would mean having fewer lines at the hospitals.

The idea is to provide people with enough information for them to not get sick in the future.

“Because we realize people don’t know what to do,” she said, in relation to what sort of preventative measures to take.

Creese explained that they have been seeing a large number of cases of hypertension and diabetes, which are conditions generally associated with poor lifestyle choices.

“So, by giving them the information and they start practising, then it will lead to long term prevention,” she said.

The testing is done by students; however qualified doctors were on hand to write prescriptions and make referrals for the more serious cases.

“We don’t give them the test and leave them hanging … we administer the test and then let them see a doctor,” Creese said.

If a person feels comfortable with the doctor they saw, then they could then make a visit to the school, which is located at Belair, she explained.

The experience is of benefit to both the people of St Vincent and the students alike, Creese contended, in that besides the students having the experience of interacting with locals and the public getting invaluable health information, the students get to practise what they learn in the classroom.

And the long term goal is to construct a clinic at the school’s site, which will give the members of the public the opportunity to visit the doctors more often and at a permanent location, Creese told SEARCHLIGHT.

In terms of cost, she said that the medication and testing supplies are usually expensive.

Added to that is the problem of it being difficult to access sponsorship.

However, Creese said that the school is looking to host the fair at least two or three times a year.

“It’s an expensive effort, but if the people need it, then we are willing to serve the people.

“That’s the attitude we are having,” Creese said, adding that it was their hope to have the Ministry of Health come on board and recognize the need to help in the education process.

“The fact that there are so many people, you know that there is a need for help … money shouldn’t be an issue,” she said. (DD)