Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Immunized and ready for school – Doctors pleased with general health of children at Digicel STAR back to school fair

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 1:15 PM
Tyra-Sage Wilson gives a thumbs up after getting her check-up from Dr. Paul McFarlene
Eye tests were conducted courtesy of Courts Optical
A teenager gets her pressure checked during her medical test at the Digicel Star Jus School fair

Over 300 students received medical and optical checks at the Digicel-STAR back-to-school fair. Of this number, the doctors on-call have reported that the majority were fully immunized.

In Jamaica, the immunization regulations under the Public Health Act require all parents to have their children vaccinated with the primary series of vaccines by 12 months old, and to obtain booster doses as required.

It also mandates that children must be adequately vaccinated for their age, prior to entry to school and this includes day care and nursery facilities. The regulations only allow for exemption from vaccination based on medical reasons, and not on religious or philosophical beliefs.

In addition to immunizations, the doctors have also reported that a vast a majority of the children were healthy and ready for school.

Unfortunately, there were a few children who were asthmatic, had skin rashes and impacted wax.

“I noticed that the children who were asthmatic were without their pumps and I cannot stress enough the importance of them having their medication on them at all times, especially where some schools tend to have dusty playfields,” shared Dr. Garfield Champman of the New Era Medical Centre in Lucea Hanover, who was one of the doctors who volunteered his services.

“Another issue was impacted wax, which can lead to difficulty in hearing, which directly affects the child’s ability to learn. Quite often parents may shout at their children because they are ‘hard-a-hearing’ when the reality is that built-up wax prevents them from hearing clearly.”

Also volunteering his services was Dr. Paul McFarlene of the Kingston Public Hospital, whose main concern was nutrition.

“I cannot stress enough the need to have your child properly nourished. An undernourished child will be lethargic in school and will have difficulty learning. Of the children I saw, I noticed that a few 6-12 year olds were a little under-nourished,” said McFarlene.

The Digicel STAR Jus School fair was held on Saturday, August 27 at the St William Grant Park. In addition to the free health checks, children will also be given free haircuts, back-to-school packages, refreshments and an amusement village to keep them entertained.

The Digicel Star Jus School back-to school-fair was sponsored by KSAC, CB Chicken, Milo, Honey Bun, KFC, Tastee, Pure National Ice, Reggae Jammin, Tango’s Entertainment, Big Jo, Courts Optical, Bullhead Water, Jamaica producers, Courts Readi Cash and LearningHub.online.