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Vincentians to benefit from SDA’s health care initiative

Vincentians to benefit from SDA’s health care initiative


Persons throughout the length and breadth of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), will from this Saturday, April 8, have the opportunity to interact, free of cost, with a group of health professionals from the United Kingdom (UK).

The group, March for Jesus Transnational Health Team, is in SVG under the auspices of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church and will hold several clinics and lectures on mainland St Vincent and Bequia.

The group is made up of 25 health care professionals in different fields and specialities, including mental health, respiratory health, ophthalmology, diabetes, herbal specialist, health education and cholesterol.

Retired nurses are also part of the diverse contingent.

Group members include Elsie Staple (retired health director, South England conference), Colleen Ollivierre, Gloria Simon, Melvina Kirwan (herbalist) and head of the group, Vincentian Barbara Caruth-Louison.

Addressing the media at the SDA Conference Room in Old Montrose on Monday, Caruth-Louison said that they are very happy to be in SVG to share their knowledge, while helping to improve the health of as many Vincentians as possible.

Commenting, Staple said that the group has been to other places, including India, Ghana, Montserrat, Trinidad, Grenada and Haiti.

She said that before coming to SVG, they researched the country’s health profile, so their initiative is based on the needs of the country and their programmes focussed on meeting these needs.

Staple explained that a holistic approach to health will be taken, while focusing on the country’s zero hunger policy by, among other things, providing food parcels to the communities.

The group is expected to focus on health promotion, health education and health prevention, while encouraging persons to take responsibility for their health through empowerment on topics relating to spiritual, emotional and sexual health and diabetes. Persons will also be engaged in sewing and gardening.

Simon, the diabetes specialist, will be teaching diabetics about prevention, management and reversing Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise.

“I am looking forward to help the people look after themselves better,” noted Simon.

Lectures covering mortality and morbidity rates will be held and Prostrate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests will also be done. The team will look at male menopause and fibroids.

The group will also partner with some local agencies to empower persons.

Persons can interact with the group, beginning Saturday, April 8 at the Stubbs SDA church; on Sunday, April 9, during a health expo in the Calliaqua/Glen area; on Monday, April 10 in the Stubbs/Diamond area; April 11 in Barrouallie; April 12 in Chateaubelair; April 13 in Bequia; April 18 in Sandy Bay; April 19 in South Rivers; April 20 in Mesopotamia; and April 21 in Evesham.

April 29 will see a day for children at a venue to be announced. Visits are also being planned for the male and female prisons, the Lewis Punnett Home, the Mental Health Centre and the School for Children with Special Needs.

Donations of toiletries and medical supplies will be made to a number of organizations, while educational material will be donated to three pre-schools, six primary schools and two special needs institutions. Talks will also be given on hand washing and personal hygiene, among other things.

President of the SDA Church in SVG Dermoth Baptiste said that the group will provide primary health care to as many persons as possible. He noted that the SDA Church believes in its responsibility to spread the word of God and preserve life.

Baptiste also commented that in addition to ministering, the church’s responsibility extends to the prevention of diseases through health education, while church members are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle.