Over 250 residents of St. James benefited from the Kiwanis Club of Montego Bay’s fifth annual Diabetes Awareness Health Fair on November 2.
The event, which was held in Sam Sharpe Square, was jointly hosted with the National Health Fund (NHF).
President of the Club, Teisha-Ann Pinnock, told JIS News that the organisation prides itself on serving the community, adding that “this is our signature project…a main avenue for us to touch [and] improve the lives of our fellow Jamaicans”.
Pinnock said the NHF, which has been partnering with the service club on the initiative since its inception, was “happy and eager to come on board when they heard about where the [event) would be and what the aim of the project [was]”.
For her part, pharmacist and owner of Be Well Consultants, Dorothy Brown, told JIS News that the entity, which participated in the health, has also been collaborating with the Kiwanis Club to execute the event over the past five years.
She said her company’s involvement is “centred on educating people to dispel some of the myths [regarding] diabetes”.
“We want people to know that diabetes is manageable, that it is not a death sentence, [and] that they can always learn more. The more they learn about their condition, the better it is for them,” Brown added.
She said persons with diabetes must also understand the importance of eating healthily, and “making certain that they partner with their healthcare professionals to take their medication, as required, and ensure that they are exercising, as that helps with keeping blood sugar under control”.
Among the complimentary services offered at the health fair were tests for HIV, blood sugar, haemoglobin, cholesterol and blood pressure, eye examinations, and interactive engagements such as health talks and a workout session.
Other sponsors of the event were: Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, the University of Technology (UTech), National Water Commission (NWC), Eye Q Optical, and CJ’s Professional Pharmacy.