SDA Community Hospital Resumes Monthly Health Fairs

05 Nov 2022 | Lenard Pierre|| CARU Staff

Hundreds of persons overwhelmed the free resources of a health fair at the Diego Martin South Community Center, in Trinidad on October, 2022. The health and information fair was part of the Adventist Community Hospital’s outreach into surrounding neighborhoods, and included a partnership with the Diego Martin Seventh-day Adventist Church, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Trinidad Chapter and the North West Regional authority of the Trinidad and Tobago government.

Dr. Stephen Carryl, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, indicated that the quantity and quality of catered services, ensured that people were offered a wholistic health and wellness package. He added, “We [had] a very wide cross-section of information … so that the community could learn how to preserve … health. I am very encouraged at the large number of individuals who turned out for the health fair. Health is a priority. Health is an asset so, even when you are young, in order to preserve your health and stay healthy don’t wait till you old to go get checked out. It’s nice to start the process when you are young so you will get to old age in better health.”

In 2020, the pandemic interrupted the hospital’s 15-year record of community health fairs that were conducted once per month, on a Sunday, at locations throughout the island of Trinidad. According to hospital sources, the 2 ½-year hiatus was lifted in October when health outreach team volunteers from the Community Hospital provided basic screening and health education for more than 600 persons.

Pastor Nieve George, Chaplain and Coordinator for Volunteer Services at the Community Hospital, shared details, “We deal with awareness, temperance, nutrition, exercise, and water. Generally, it is the NEWSTART approach. That coupled with the physicians and counselors and the collaboration of other organizations, like the cancer society and eye companies, join to support the health fair.”

The services included screening for blood sugar and pressure, consultations with physicians, stroke risk assessment, lung capacity tests, eye exams, stress tests, ECG recordings, immunizations, audiology evaluations, routine dental care, prostate examinations, and HIV and VDRL screening. Individuals who required a follow-up health visit were given the Community Hospital’s contact information for a comprehensive treatment plan.

The 30-person team of volunteers supports the hospital’s vision, wholeheartedly. The team is comprised of former employees (such as retired nurses) and individuals who are interested in health ministry. They extend the healing ministry of Jesus by aligning themselves with congregations or civic organization.

Pastor George thanked the volunteers and applauded the collaborative venture. He added, “My office is ready to undertake any joint program that benefits the community and contributes to raising the quality of life of our people. This was such a historic accomplishment because … of [its] magnitude … and the people need it. Many had to be turned away.”

Based on its strategic initiatives for interfacing with communities and the high demand for such health services, the hospital will soon be engaged in another free health fair as it continues to champion overall wellness, education and prevention