Sunday’s Health Fair promotes health awareness for San Pedro residents

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 27            July 12, 2007

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Nurses were on hand to provide free blood pressure tests.

As part of the Health Fair, the Maternal and Child Health booth provided valuable information to those in attendance as well.

More than one hundred people took advantage of the interactive Health Fair that was hosted by the Health Committee on Sunday, July 14th. The Fair which was held under the theme “Securing a healthy future for both mother and child” was the committee’s first initiative in bringing awareness and protection to mothers and their children.

    Several agencies held booths and dispersed educational materials and referral services to visitors that stopped by. The San Pedro Aids Commission hosted a booth where visitors received free HIV/AIDS testing. Among the free information provided in form of pamphlets and brochures on the world wide epidemic, 39 individuals took advantage of the service and within 15 or 20 minutes they knew there results: all tests proved negative.

    There was a free blood pressure and diabetes testing booth that provided referrals, pamphlets, and brochures which helped visitors to take care of themselves. The booth also encouraged women to maintain healthy habits and lifestyles and many of the women who visited the fair had children or were of child-bearing age.

    The Maternal/Child Health and CARE Belize were other interesting booths that provided the public with plenty of factual information on child development, preventing pre-mature labor, pre-natal care, and assuring the public that if a case arises that Care Belize is here to help.

    The Belize Family Life Association was on hand at the health fair and this booth provided information of the several types of birth control, how to protect yourself from STD’s, venereal diseases, breaking out, obesity, among others. The Cancer Society hosted a booth that provided not only information on breast cancer and its abnormalities, but information on receiving Pap smear and further female cancer symptoms. Information about breast self-exams, child health and safety issues, diabetes, heart health, elder care, nutrition, and obesity prevention were also available.

    In an interview with Nurse Shawmella Kelly, health fairs like these encourages preventative health care. “Many women might not be aware of some of the issues that are affecting both mothers and children. These fairs benefit the community by sharing health and preventative care information. We offered several tests, including cholesterol screenings, blood pressure testing, blood sugar testing, body composition testing, among other things. And this is just the first of many activities that we plan on carrying out.”

    This is the first of many more health fairs that will be organized by the Health Committee. The next fair will be held on December 1st on World Aids Day. Nurse Shawmella also stressed that the purpose of the fair was to promote the services that are now available at the PolyClinic II in San Pedro and encourages the public to take advantage of these services.

    Another key point in the health fair consisted on the food sale. Monies acquired by the sale of food will be used to help people in need; people who may require medical services but can not afford to pay them. Kudos to San Pedro’s Health Committee for a job well done!
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