October 2, 2011
On Sunday, October 2nd, 2011, the American Medical student Association (AMSA) IAU Chapter took part in the Region 5 health fair. It was an extraordinary event which began with a 10k walk that took about 2 hours to complete. Hundreds of people took part in the health fair. Men and women of all ages showed up to the event at 6:30am; some even brought their children. It is obvious that St. Lucian people take their health seriously because it was such a huge turnout. Police officers and ambulances followed the crowd as they walked. It provided a secure atmosphere for the participants. There were points along the walk where people provided the walkers with bottles of water. It was a well organized event.
AMSA (IAU Chapter) showed the people that we weren’t just there to measure their blood pressures and blood glucose by walking with them. We were the only ones with scrubs on so they were not difficult to spot. AMSA made it clear that as long as we are on the island, we considered ourselves members of the community and we will make a positive contribution to the community just as every member ought to. As we walked, people expressed their appreciation for AMSA’s decision to walk with them. After the walk was over, AMSA began to carry out the health fair immediately. With our scrubs soaked with sweat, AMSA set up shop alongside the primary care nurses of Vieux Fort. A group of us measured blood pressures and blood glucose, while also giving the people tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Another group of AMSA members spoke to the people about the importance of practicing safe sex and handed out contraceptives to the crowd. This was AMSA’s first community outreach event and it turned out to be very successful. AMSA is very dedicated to its mission of community service and is currently working on different community outreach projects. AMSA at IAU is determined to make a difference. (by Gbenga Olubummo, President – AMSA- IAU Chapter)