Maverley residents receive healthcare from Rotary
For an eighth year, scores of residents in Maverley, St Andrew, converged on the Source resource centre in the community to access a range of heavily subsidised health services and health information coordinated for their benefit by the Rotary Club of Trafalgar New Heights (RCTNH).
Bringing together the College of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Technology; medical doctors, the National Health Fund (NHF) and the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, the Rotary club of young professionals provided some 150 residents with dental services, medical screening, sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and vision screening for a registration fee of $100.
"The project seeks to fill a void by providing a range of services that would prove difficult to access all at once because of the cost and time to access such services," RCTNH president, Janelle Pantry-Coke underscored.
"Through partnerships with non-profit groups, such as our long-time collaborators, Voices for Jamaica, which operates in the community; our sister club, the Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains, UTech, corporate sponsors and this year, the NHF; as well as by pooling our professional skills, we are able to offer services to the community," Mrs Pantry-Coke explained.
The club's corporate sponsors were Colgate-Palmolive by Kirk Distributors; Coldfield Beverages, National Bakery, Tastee Patties,GraceKennedy, Wisynco, Seprod, Medical Disposables and Supplies Limited and Hughenden Pharmacy.
She noted that constant violence also reduces the economic power of residents and their ability to afford health care services, hence the need for the Health Fair annually.
"As Rotarians, we recognise that development is a composition of various human rights and amenities, one of which is access to healthcare," Pantry-Coke said. "Therefore, a primary focus of Rotary is disease prevention and treatment, so that people, in especially underserved communities, can have the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life."
She said that annually, more than 100 million people around the world are forced into poverty because of their inability to afford healthcare services, noting that similar links between poverty and access to healthcare have been made in Jamaica.
"If we can help to prevent lifestyle diseases by education and by offering services that would have otherwise been inaccessible due to cost, we can help to stem the cycle of poverty, one community at a time," she said.
Addressing Personal Symptoms
Pantry-Coke was supported by the executive director of Voices of Jamaica, Alecia Jones, who noted that the services provided many residents with an opportunity to finally confirm and address personal symptoms they had been experiencing.
"There were persons who had been having problems with their vision and did not have the opportunity and did not know until they received free testing by members of the NHF team," Miss Jones, who is also resident of Maverley, pointed out. "So some have been able to go see an eye doctor to do further tests and receive treatment."
She indicated that the Health Fair also provides many children with the opportunity to have their back-to-school medicals done, which could have otherwise proved costly to their parents and guardians.
"Persons with lifestyle illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes, were also able to benefit from advice from doctors about how to diet."
"This is what the community needs," she concluded.