Staff Writer News784
The St. James School of Medicine will host a free health fair this weekend. The health fair which will take place at the campus in Arnos Vale opposite (KFC) will be held on Saturday 16th July.
In an exclusive Interview with NEWS784, Student Body President Kirk Stewart said that the fair will target the areas from Sion Hill to Glen, but that does not exclude any Vincentian who would want to attend.
The three main areas of focus would be Diabetes, Renal issues, and Lifestyle. Stewart said that would cover sexual health, Nutrition, and activity, etc.
Stewart told News784 that from miniature fairs held before, they have notice that some of the predisposing factors that were previously mention was pretty high and that was from just screening, with Diabetes being one of the main issues.
Some of the screening include but not limited to; blood pressure checks, blood glucose checks, dental, vision etc. Along with the screenings, helpful information will be shared with everyone in regards to health.
Because of working with other health care providers, Stewart said they have come across a lot of community members that have a predisposition to a number of health-related issues, which prompted the student body to hold the health fairs where they can bring awareness to the community.
Stewart noted that a lot of research is being done by the students, and the data collected from this health fair would be stored for use with the local doctors, this is to see how it matches with their data he told us.
The data would also be used by students, who are doing their own research and projects.
Stewart highlighted that at a recent health screening a very high percentage of persons between the ages 20 to 30 who were accessing the service had hypertension and Diabetes.
Going back to data from a health fair with the Lions club, Stewart said the same thing occurred, however, he is happy that the young people are turning up, giving them a chance to educate and bring about a much need awareness.
He says sometimes the data does not match the BMI information that they collect. Base on textbook one that is obese would be a candidate for hypertension, however, they have noticed a high number of persons slender or well-built and even with muscles all over, have ridiculously high glucose levels and high blood pressure.
Stewart told News784 that is more dangerous since you could be walking around looking really healthy and fit, yet not knowing you are at risk of these lifestyle diseases.
Stewart indicated to News784, that they are hoping to work closely with the Public Health Department, to change the face of the island, more so at least within the community they work with, he says this also gives them a chance to monitor the data and see how it changes.
For the year so far they have held four health fairs,partnering with the Lions club, and a number of clinics, but for the school itself this would be the second one of such magnitude.
Secretary of the Student Body Melisa Browne says the goal of St. James School of Medicine is to give back to the community.
One way for us to do that is offer free health screenings and education. We are expecting over 500 people to show up for this event Browne said.
She noted volunteers and healthcare workers will be on site, and urge Vincentians to come out and take advantage of these free services.
Music and refreshments would be provided for those attending the event which starts at 9am and finishes at 3pm.