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Free health care in Mile Gully

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester – More than 300 people turned up at the Mile Gully Primary School in northern Manchester recently to take advantage of free services offered at a health and information fair.

The fair was sponsored by bauxite/alumina company Jamalco in collaboration with the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA).

A news release said a wide range of medical services were offered, including pap smear, prostate and HIV tests, plus dental care, blood sugar and cholesterol tests.

Some residents were referred to seek follow-up treatment at the Mile Gully Clinic and Mandeville Hospital, while some were recommended to do additional diagnostic tests.

Subsidies valued at $3,000 were given to approximately 100 people who were prescribed drugs based on the findings of their medical assessments, but could not afford to pay for their medicine.

Local farmer, Eustace Palmer, who was visiting the doctor to get his foot examined after a bike accident, explained that he had been unable to work for three weeks because of pain.

“The doctor check out mi foot and say mi need to go to the Mandeville Hospital right away, so mi glad mi never mek this opportunity pass me by,” he said.

A team of dentists from the University of Technology, Jamaica conducted dental checks. Fifty-two patients benefitted from the services and received free cleanings and fillings. Extractions were also carried out.

Several government agencies and private companies used the health fair as a forum to disseminate information about their products and services, as well as to distribute product samples.

Among them were the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS), the Social Development Commission (SDC), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Geoland, Mead Johnson, Heart Trust NTA, and the Manchester Health Department. Representatives from Jamalco’s Legal Department and Employee Assistance Programme also provided legal advice and offered counselling services to those who needed it.

In support of the “Jamaica Moves” initiative, there was also an aerobics session led by Jamalco fitness instructor, Paul Surgeon.

The Mile Gully Health and Information fair is the first of four such events planned by Jamalco in its operating areas in Clarendon and Manchester. The next health fair will be at the Farm Community Centre in south Manchester in June.

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