Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:FOR 70-year-old Louise Mais, a clean bill of health is important to her well-being. So, she usually capitalises on every opportunity to access health care, wherever it's offered.
It was no different when she discovered recently that OBF Finance was staging its fourth health fair and loan clinic at its offices in Linstead, St Catherine.
"I came to Linstead to do some other business and I found out about this health fair, so I decided to check my pressure, sugar and do a HIV test," she shared with The Gleaner.
Regarding HIV testing, Mais said it was critical that everyone knew his or her status, as this would help to control the spread of the disease.
"I wasn't scared. I got counselling and did my test and I got my result as negative. We all need to know our status and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, and when we do that we also protect each other, then we would have healthier population," she noted.
Eikeron Henry, branch supervisor/credit officer, OBF Finance, Linstead, told The Gleaner that the hosting of the health fair and loan clinic was in keeping with the company's corporate responsibility.
"We are offering business counselling, loan advice and medical and dental services. We chose to offer these services based on the needs in the community. In hard times like these, I think we can help to create a healthier society as an institution," he said.
Thirty-eight persons got their blood sugar and blood pressure checked. These checks were conducted by Sergeant Kevin Samuels and Corporal Romaine Foster, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Emergency Medical Service Department.
"Based on what I am finding, most persons tested are on the verge of being diabetic, that's an indicator, and I think that this health fair is very helpful, because had they not come to this health fair and get first-hand knowledge, they wouldn't know that they should consult their doctors for follow-up," said Samuels.
Stanley Cohen, who conducted dental checks, said volunteerism was vital if the vulnerable were to survive.
"I am cleaning and filling, because I want to help the poor and needy. Sometimes when they go to the clinic they get all a one-year appointment, so I decided to offer my service today," Cohen told The Gleaner.
A team from the Lions Club of North St Catherine conducted eye testing, while nurses from the Linstead Health Centre administered Pap smears.