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Story Highlights

  • Scores of children from Montego Bay and wider St. James benefited from free medical checks during the second annual ‘Food Safety and Back-to-School Fair’, held at Pier One in the city, on Friday, August 16.
  • The event was organised by the St. James Public Health Services, as an extension of the agency’s mandate to provide preventative and curative healthcare.
  • A team of doctors and nurses exposed the children to a number of health screenings and information in the company of their parents, including back-to-school medicals, immunisation shots and health education.

Scores of children from Montego Bay and wider St. James benefited from free medical checks during the second annual ‘Food Safety and Back-to-School Fair’, held at Pier One in the city, on Friday, August 16.

The event was organised by the St. James Public Health Services, as an extension of the agency’s mandate to provide preventative and curative healthcare.

A team of doctors and nurses exposed the children to a number of health screenings and information in the company of their parents, including back-to-school medicals, immunisation shots and health education.

Parents were also exposed to a food handler’s clinic, blood sugar and blood pressure checks as well as nutrition counselling.

In an interview with JIS News, Chief Public Health Inspector for St. James, Lennox Wallace, noted that in addition to promoting food safety, the health department also prioritises the health of children.

He said the agency is ensuring that the youngsters in the parish have their medical forms completed and are ready for the start of the new school year in September.

“As a health facility, we want to bring it to them to ensure that not only do they observe food safety practices, but we want to use the opportunity to offer [free] health checks as well, so that they can go back to school healthy and ready to learn,” Mr. Wallace said.

Mr. Wallace noted that buses with children were shuttled from communities such as Norwood, Glendevon, Flanker and Salt Spring to the fair.

Parent, Olgaline Archie, told JIS News that the event was important to the people of St. James, noting that “you can get your children to do their medical [check-ups] for free.”

“So, it’s very good and important for the poor people who cannot find the money to go to the private doctor,” she said.

Another parent, Valerie King, thanked the St. James Public Health Services for staging the fair. She is encouraging the agency to continue the good work that is being done in the interest of the people.

Other agencies in attendance included HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited (CPJ) and Orkin Jamaica.

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