April 13, 2010
The International American University, College of Medicine has observed World Health Day with a series of health clinics in the southern part of the island, which residents have appreciated very much, describing it as a meaningful exercise.
Over the years, the university has observed this momentous occasion with a number of activities which have had a positive impact on the health of residents of the south. Some of such activities include eye screening, a blood donation camp and a day for students of the Special Education Centre in Vieux-Fort. So far IAU has been overwhelmed by the level of participation the public has shown in such activities.
Recently, the university held a series of clinics at the Bell Vue Health Centre, Grace Health Centre, Laborie Market, Super J in Latourney and Super J in Vieux-Fort. The clinic involved the screening for diabetes and hypertension which was conducted by students of the university who were trained for such exercises.
One of the senior students who supervised the exercise said the feedback that they received from residents were encouraging. She noted that apart from the screening for blood pressure and sugar levels, they also gave residents advice on proper diet, healthy life style and the importance of keeping abreast with their health condition.
Edward Victor, a resident of Grace said: “The University is providing a good service to the community. A number of people in St. Lucia have diabetes and hypertension but they are not aware of it. Such screening exercise will enable us to know more about the condition of our health and prevent severity and complication of disease” Lawrence Charles another resident of the area said that the exercise is so important to him that if it is conducted on a daily basis he will always make it his duty to be there.
"I forget all about my work this morning just to make sure I find out about my health. My health comes first,” Camella Donally, a resident of Bell Vue said. According to her, the university is providing a very important service to the community and it should continue to do so, on a regular basis. She said it is not the first time that she has attended such a clinic held by the university and will continue to do so as long as the service is available.
Veronica Simeon, another resident of the area said: “I would like to thank the University for its Service to the community. I appreciate it very much. Such a service will help build a healthy community.”
Dr Olusina Adesanya, attending Physician for chronic non-communicable diseases for Region 5 Primary Care and also Clinical Proctor for IAU, said the object of the exercise was to identify people who have diabetes and hypertension. According to him, they are then referred to their various community hospitals or health centers for the management. “St. Lucia has perhaps the highest diabetes per capita in the world and what we are doing is just to try to help he health care system to identify the people who may have diabetes or may have other complexities and do not have the time to go to our clinics or hospitals ....” Dr. Adesanya said.
Public Relations Officer of the University, Sibi Gopalakrishnan is very much satisfied with the public response to their outreach community programmes and has promised that it will continue to improve in the future.
The university is committed to observing the health calendar proposed by WHO. And it will continue to do so by holding activities which will have a positive impact on the lives of residents.