Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Northgate stages annual family wellness and medical fair

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Avia Gibbs listens keenly as this elderly woman who turned up to access medical services, speaks to her.


The Northgate Parenting Empowerment Place (N-PEP), collaborating with volunteering medical practitioners from Jamaica and overseas, held its third annual Health, Wellness and Beauty Fair and Medical Clinic earlier this week at the Northgate Centre in White River, Ocho Rios.

Several private and public organisations also teamed with the organisers to host the fair, as hundreds of persons, children and adults alike, benefited from the three-day event, held Monday to Wednesday.

Services offered included school medical for students, medical, dental and prostate examinations, Pap smear, HIV testing, and mammogram.

The main beneficiaries of the project were residents of Ocho Rios proper and 11 surrounding communities, including Exchange, Shaw Park, Pimento Walk, Parry Town, Great Pond, Content Gardens, Beecher Town, and others.

Eileen Lawson of Ocho Rios, who visited the clinic for the first time this year, said she was pleased with the service.

"It's my first time here. I did my ECG for the first time and it was OK, no pain, nothing that I was fearing," Lawson told Family and Religion.

"I am satisfied with the

service," she admitted.

In a release sent by Theresa Gaynor, a volunteer of the Northgate Youth and Family Development Foundation (NYFDF), of which N-PEP is a part, the organisation explained the importance of an event such as the health, wellness and beauty fair and medical clinic.

holistic health

Citing the shift in Jamaica's epidemiological profile from communicable to non-communicable diseases, and subsequent hazards associated with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer, the organisers said, "The NYFDF recognises that good health does not just relate to absence of diseases, disabilities or injuries, but is holistic, involving the physical, mental, spiritual and community's health.

"This project is designed to promote good health through the provision of general medical examinations, laboratory screening tests, dental services, nutritional counselling, self-esteem education and other health and wellness-related education services to the Exchange community and its environs."

In addition to services mentioned, children who registered for the event were treated to free back-to-school items such as bags, exercise books and other items.

Persons turning up to register to access service were greeted with a sign that read: 'Prayer available. Just ask at registration area.'