'I've never seen some of these people so happy'

Friday, October 05, 2018

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WHITEHOUSE, Westmoreland — Trysion Walters of the Crawford Community Development Committee (CDC) was overcome with joy at the recent health and social services fair in the community.

“I've never seen some of these people so happy. We wish this is something that could happen every year,” said Walters.

More than 200 residents from the communities of Crawford, Fostic Grove, Top Dalintober, Bottom Dalintober, Hill Top, Speculation and other neighbouring communities in the parish of St Elizabeth were able to benefit from the fair, which was held in partnership with Sandals South Coast, the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Crawford CDC.

Councillor for the division, Whitney Smith expressed gratitude to Sandals South Coast and the Sandals Foundation for their commitment to the community.

“When you really look at the number of persons impacted today, you can't help but be thankful to those who made this possible. A company like Sandals is already a leader in their industry, they are doing what they should in their sector and to see how committed they are to serving the community is just remarkable,” she explained.

The day's proceedings commenced at approximately 8:00 am and saw adults and children swooping in, in their numbers to take advantage of the various services that were provided.

The St Elizabeth Health Department, Royale Pharmacy and the Jamaica Red Cross Society offered blood pressure checks, medical examinations, heart checks, blood glucose and cholesterol checks, nutritional counselling and male prostate testing.

A team from the St Elizabeth Health Department conducted HIV testing and counselling, while free drug counselling and presentations were done by the National Council on Drug Abuse.

Residents were also able to access critical social service offerings through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Heart Trust/NTA, Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning, National Housing Trust, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Tax Administration of Jamaica and the Child Protection and Family Service Agency.

Chief among the offerings of the fair was the prostate testing which saw men aged 40 and over initially shying away until they understood later, that it would take the form of a blood test.

Crawford resident, 49-year-old Dave Williams had his prostate check done and he has no regrets.

“It is important to do the test because if you allow pride to stop you, you may be putting yourself in danger. At least you can allow yourself to live a little longer by doing the test and knowing your status. I did mine, the results were good and I am happy I did it,” he said.

In addition to these services, the children present were treated to back-to-school supplies, courtesy of the Sandals Foundation.

Public relations manager at Sandals South Coast, Rochelle Forbes, noted that the aim of the fair was to promote a healthy lifestyle among residents while providing them with the tools and information they need to operate as employable, informed and responsible citizens.

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