Fri | Apr 26, 2019

US group offers free medicals to St Ann, St Mary residents

Published:Saturday | August 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
CONTRIBUTED Dental Nurse Blossom Thomas of the Ocho Rios Health Centre, prepares to examine a young patient during a health fair recently.


For the sixth year, United for Hope Medical Mission has provided free medical service for residents in rural Jamaica.

The Texas, USA-based group recently completed four days of serving residents of several communities in St Ann and St Mary, leaving over 1,500 residents in Three Hills, Content Retreat, Petersfield, Bamboo Walk, Orange Park, Linton Park and others areas grateful.

The team of 38, which comprises three medical doctors, several nurses, counsellors, dental and health technicians, and assisted by several local professionals, provided a range of medical, dental, optical, and counselling services. They also provided eye glasses and first aid kits and school supplies for the children.

Several residents had their teeth cleaned and extractions done, eyes checked and glasses fitted where necessary, and blood pressure and blood sugar tests conducted.

A mobile health unit from St Ann also collaborated with the group by providing HIV tests and family planning sessions for residents.

Joy to give back

A leader of the group, Jamaican born Artencia Raffington and her daughter Jillian Raffington, who organised this year's event, expressed joy at being able to give back to their homeland.

A member of the group, Dr Kris Kennedy, noted that there were several adults and children that she examined over the four-day period who had several health issues and she was happy to offer her time and service to them.

Among the several individuals who assisted with the medical mission were Renee Gordon of Las Vegas, Dr John Baugh, dentist, of Ocho Rios, dental nurse Blossom Thomas, Steve Allen of Broadbent Vision Care, and Lawrence Clarke, Donald McLaren and Phillip Vassell from Texas, among others.

The group's activities in St Ann were coordinated by the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios East, while Councillor Krystal Lee and Member of Parliament Robert Montague of Western St Mary, hosted the mission in St Mary.