Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Community benefits from Exchange SDA’s health fair

Published:Monday | September 9, 2019 | 12:22 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Part of the turnout at the Exchange SDA health and social fair in Exchange, Ocho Rios.
Part of the turnout at the Exchange SDA health and social fair in Exchange, Ocho Rios.

Scores of children and adults benefited from the annual health and social fair put on by the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Exchange, Ocho Rios, just in time for back to school.

The fair, held in the community of Hand-to-Mouth in Exchange, was put on collaboration with Sandals Foundation, which provided the children with school items.

Free medical checks included school medicals, HIV testing, pap smears, immunisation and dental services. The event was supported by Courts Optical and several government agencies, including the Marcus Garvey Youth Information Centre.

There was also a free herbalife tea sampling to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Pastor Kirkwood Parkinson of the Exchange SDA said the event was the way the church chose to share with the community.

“This is what we do as a church. we have what is called the community services arm of the ministry and so what we do, just as how Jesus walked around and touched lives, that’s what we’re doing, following his example in touching lives in a tangible way,” he told The Gleaner.

“We’ve been doing this for quite a number of years. It was dormant for a while and we have revived it, so for the past four years we have been doing this,” he added.

Parkinson said the community has reacted in a positive way to the annual event and look forward to it each year.

One resident, who declined to give her name, said the entire community is thankful for the fair.

Anisa Wilson-Smith, senior youth empowerment officer from the Ministry of Education’s Youth and Adolescence Policy Division, and Lyndsay Isaacs, Sandals Resorts’ regional public relations manager, Ocho Rios, played vital roles in ensuring the day’s activities were successful.

A gospel concert at the end rounded off the activities for the day.