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Nearly 6,000 Get Free Blood Pressure Checks in Western Region

By: , May 19, 2023
Nearly 6,000 Get Free Blood Pressure Checks in Western Region
Photo: Sharon Earle
The National Health Fund (NHF) team provides instructions to members of the public during a free blood pressure check exercise in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on Wednesday (May 17), to mark World Hypertension Day.

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Nearly 6,000 persons in four western parishes received free blood pressure checks on Wednesday (May 17), far exceeding the 4,000-target set for World Hypertension Day.

Regional Non-Communicable Disease Coordinator, Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Dr. Marcia Johnson Campbell, told JIS News that all parishes, except Trelawny, surpassed their targets.

A breakdown of the figures shows that in St. James, 2,133 blood pressure checks were done, exceeding the target of 1,500; Westmoreland, 2,656 from a target of 1,200; Hanover, 690 from a target of 600; and Trelawny, 306, from a target of 700.

Overall, the region overshot its goal by 1,785 with a total of 5,785 checks done.

It St. James, more than 600 persons were tested at the main station in Sam Sharpe Square.

Persons were also able to access free blood pressure tests at the health centres, Montego Bay #2 Post Office, Montego Bay Transportation Centre, business process outsourcing facilities, hotels, Hospiten, Sam Sharpe

Teachers’ College, Montego Bay Community College, as well as several high schools.

Health Promotion and Education Officer, St. James Public Health Services, Julian Grandison Mullings, who was stationed at Sam Sharpe Square, commended the more than 150 health workers and volunteers for their contribution to the effort and their enthusiasm throughout the day.

NHF’s Health Promotion and Public Relations Manager, Sharon Jones, told JIS News that “the response [was] positive. We… tested quite a number of persons… who got their blood pressure checked [and were] counselled and referred to the health centres for follow-up treatment”.

The NHF partnered with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Medical Association of Jamaica, schools, private-sector companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and churches, to undertake the World Hypertension Day activity.

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, the NHF targeted 20,000 persons across the four health regions for free blood pressure checks on the day.

In addition to the WRHA, the others are North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) comprising the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland; South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), entailing St. Catherine, Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas; and Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), which serves the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth..

World Hypertension Day also included public awareness and free healthcare activities across the health regions.

Last Updated: May 19, 2023

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