Approximately 1,400 residents of Granville, Flanker and surrounding communities in St. James, are benefitting from health services provided by a medical team from the United States of America.
The 20-member team of doctors and health professionals has been in the island since Monday (July 27), conducting simultaneous clinics at the Flanker and Granville health centres.
Among the services being provided are dental and optical, antenatal care for pregnant mothers, blood sugar and blood pressure tests, general health checks, and health counselling.
Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College Past Students’ Association arranged the medical mission to the island in partnership with the Montego Bay East Rotary Club.Co-ordinator of the medical mission, Leo Gilling, told JIS News that the medical team, which leaves the island later today (July 31), had done “a tremendous job in administering to the health needs of our hundreds of patients.”
He said that the residents were receptive of the service and “packed up the clinics each morning from as early as 7:00 a.m.”
“We would however like to see more males coming out to utilise the great medical opportunities here, because we see mostly women and children,” he said, informing that the specialists “will speak to our men and educate them on some of these serious lifestyle illnesses and how they can adjust their lives for healthier living.”
Registered Nurse, Eugenie Plummer, takes the blood pressure of a young Granville resident at a health fair held yesterday (July 30) at the Granville Health Centre in St. James. The event, held over five days, was organised by the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College Past Students’ Association.
He told JIS News that efforts would be made to get more corporate funding so that the medical mission could reach other parishes.
President of the New York Chapter of the Past Students Association, Ferdinand Bright, said that he was happy to have been able to give back to the community that had nurtured him and thousands of others.
He said that the health mission had been “very successful so far and I am happy to have been a part of this great effort, which will prolong many lives and empower many persons to live more healthy lives.”
“We enjoy doing this for the people of the selected communities and want to make a special appeal to the men…to do annual check-ups with the doctors so that they can remain healthy for longer,” he said.
Another past student, Dornella Powell-Downer, who is assisting the team, said she felt a sense of accomplishment in “being able to assist and touch the lives of so many patients.”
“I really enjoyed working with the patients, listening to them and hearing what they had to say about their problems and their health concerns. This has made me feel good and motivated (to help),” she told JIS News.