JIS News

Story Highlights

  • ‘Kingston 4 School and Health Fair’ featured free blood pressure and dental checks and free eye tests.
  • The Ministry of Finance and Planning paid for the course which ran for five weeks
  • These services were free for the first 150 students

Scores of students are now better informed about leading a healthy lifestyle, following their participation in a health fair, held at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, in Kingston, on August 22.

Staged by a group of public servants (Cohort 14) as part of their practicum for the Introduction to Events Management course, the event, dubbed: ‘Kingston 4 School and Health Fair’, featured free blood pressure and dental checks, as well as free eye tests.

Team Leader for Cohort 14, Margaret Walker, toldJIS News that as public servants, the 16-member team decided to “use our collective networks and our resources to stage something that will give back to the community around the UWI Open campus.”

Ms. Walker, who is also Consulting Officer in the Investment Facilitation Services Unit at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), informed that the Ministry of Finance and Planning paid for the course which ran for five weeks.

The team also partnered with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) to stage the event, which also offered other services at a cost, such as immunization, medical and physical examinations for back to school. These services were, however, free for the first 150 students between the ages of five and six and 11 and 12.

Producer, Writer, Presenter at JIS’ Television Department, Tamara McKayle, said the agency decided to partner with Cohort 14, “because of the fact that they are promoting a healthy lifestyle for our children.”

“The JIS’ mandate is to inform and educate our nation about the policies and programmes of the Government, but also one of our objectives is to give back to the wider community and the Management felt that partnering with the back to school health fair is a perfect avenue to impart information to the children as they prepare for back to school,” she said.

Ms. McKayle further informed that the JIS team talked to the students about practising a healthy lifestyle, “because so very often our students don’t eat right, they don’t exercise and that is a critical component.”

“It is important of course to study your books, but it is also important to ensure that proper nutrition is taken care of,” she added.

The JIS also gave away books during the event, courtesy of the Research Department, one of which included a recipe book that can help students to create nutritious meals at an affordable cost. In addition, the agency’s Special Projects team erected a booth that featured a number of posters and brochures providing information on healthy lifestyles and nutrition.

The students also benefited from a feature on Jamaican heritage, courtesy of the Television Department, following which the students were asked questions and provided with prizes.

Services were offered by the Registrar General’s Department (RGD); and the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). The health fair was held under the theme: ‘Back to School the Healthy Way’.

Sponsors for the event included: Faboso Traders Limited, Eyeland Eyewear, Azan’s, LASCO, Food for the Poor, Stationery and Supplies, Kiwanis Club of Mona, LIME, Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) Health Dept, JIS and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).