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JIS News

The Clarendon Health Fund will be hosting a health fair on April 26, to raise funds to purchase a renal unit for the May Pen Hospital.
The event, slated for the Leiba’s Esso Tigermarket in May Pen, is being held in collaboration with the Clarendon Health Department.
“We are hosting this health fair to see how much we can assist in offsetting the cost of this renal unit, which is well needed by the hospital,” said Carmen Downer, chairman of the Health Fund.
Carlissa Pearson, health educator at the Clarendon Health Department, explained that the renal unit would provide dialysis for persons, who have either lost their kidneys or whose kidneys have failed.
She told JIS News that, “the process of dialysis can be a costly one for persons, who have to use a renal unit, as they have to travel to Kingston, and the cost of one dialysis treatment is already expensive as one treatment is about $16,000”.
“In addition, persons need at least three sessions per week to survive, so we are very happy that the Fund is taking the initiative to acquire the unit to improve the kind of service offered in the parish and to help minimize the cost of healthcare to our patients,” she added.
Ms. Pearson noted that in addition to general health promotion, one of the aims of the fair was to raise awareness of renal failure, which is also directly related to uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure.
At a minimal cost, persons attending the fair will benefit from cholesterol, ECG, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar and blood pressure tests, and a full physical examination.
Ms. Pearson also said that rapid HIV testing, with same day results, would be done free of cost, in addition to providing nutrition counselling.
There will also be presentations from the Registrar General’s Department, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Fire Department, Jamaica Constabulary Force, and private sector companies including financial institutions.
“This is a health fair, which will be addressing the entire gamut of health concerns including financial health, security issues, disease prevention and so on,” Ms. Pearson said.
The Clarendon Health Fund was launched in April 2005, with the objective of providing support to the health sector in the parish, primarily through, but not limited to financial assistance.
The group will use the fair to mark its first anniversary and to sensitise persons about its existence and purposes.