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JIS News

Staff of the Clarendon Health Department benefited form a mini health exposition, which was hosted by the Department as part of its celebrations for World Health Day on Friday (April 7).
At the expo held at the May Pen Hospital, Carlissa Pearson, Health Educator at the Department told JIS News that the event was aimed at “saying to the health workers that we value them and to showcase how much they contribute to healthcare service and delivery”.
According to Ms. Pearson, this focus was also being given as the Department had noticed a decline in the number of personnel in the sector and was experiencing difficulties in attracting healthcare workers.She also noted that it was important for some of these workers to take time out for themselves.
“If we did not take the opportunity to say that we value our workers, we want to do so today. We also many times focus on the patient and we don’t focus on ourselves and today we have hosted this exposition to give our health workers the opportunity to take care of their own health,” she said.
Health workers benefited from free preliminary checkups including blood sugar screening, blood pressure checks, height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) checks; nutritional counselling. They were also exposed to health educational material involving leptospirosis, gastroenteritis, HIV/STI prevention, physical exercise routines, and proper sanitation methods, as well as human resource counselling with emphasis on employee benefits.
They also received training and development advice from the HEART Trust/NTA particularly for entry level workers, in addition to a diabetes product education session hosted by Abott Laboratories, the distributors of ‘Ensure’ and ‘Glucerna’ nutritional beverages.
According to Ms. Pearson, the World Health Day expo was the culmination of a week of activities which commenced last Sunday (April 2) with a church service held at the Denbigh United Church; a series of talks on ‘Careers in Health’ held at the Garvey Maceo High School on April 5 and 6, and a Health Fair hosted at Garvey Maceo High on April 7, where dental services, HIV/STI prevention, staff wellness checks, and general health promotion were the focus of the fair.
The range of health workers catered to at the expo included pharmacists; nurses; nutritionists; phlebotomists; dieticians; management staff; accountants, information and record keeping staff; customer service representatives; radiologists; drivers; lab technicians; social workers; health educators; human resources staff; medical doctors, administrative assistants; kitchen, laundry and janitorial staff.
Ms. Pearson also pointed out that the health sector employed the widest cross section of workers in the island.
Stephanie Cooper Stewart, the Community Peer Educator attached to the Clarendon Health Department, told JIS News that the expo was a good one.
“Most times we find time for other people and not for ourselves, so I think we are heading somewhere. Today, we’ll know what our health status is like and that we need to be healthy as we teach others about,” she said.