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Dinthill alumni continue to give back with annual health fair

BY CHERRIES WILES
Observer writer
wilesc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, August 20, 2018

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Hundreds of students of Dinthill Technical High School in St Catherine, along with their parents, turned out for the annual two-day health fair put on by the Florida chapter of the school's past students association last week.

When the Jamaica Observer visited the school on last Thursday's opening day, there was a buzz of activity.

Highlighting that over 1,300 students, including 200 from Guy's Hill High, would be benefitting from the free medical and dental services offered over the two days, coordinator of this year's mission, Margaret Watt Walker, said she hoped that the health fair will get “bigger and better as the years go by”.

“We are in our third year now and I am just feeling excited to give back,” she said. “This year we've added catering to the parents so we're offering them a meal. We have 28 medical personnel — doctors, nurses and assistants, but in all there is about 62 of us here as volunteers,” she added, noting that day one was dedicated to the lower school, grades seven to nine, while the second day was for students from grades 10 to 13.

The health fair, which is aimed at easing the financial burden on parents who have to pay for back-to-school medicals each year, saw students benefitting from services such as vision and blood pressure testing, teeth cleaning, urine testing, vaccination, among others.

For one parent, Ajaha Giscombe, whose daughter Aljay Davis will be going into grade nine, the health fair was a blessing.

“I feel wonderful about this health fair,” she said.” This is my third time here and I am always pleased with the service. I am getting through fast and efficient and the volunteers are nice and it's a very warm atmosphere. I want to say thank you to the coordinators, it's a great event, everyone appreciates it and its going well so far,” she added.

Another parent, Simone Williams, who was attending the health fair for the first time as her daughter, Peta-Gaye Rainford, will be going into the first form at Dinthill, told the Observer that she was happy with the service provided at the health fair.

“It's a really good event. It saves parents' money because we don't have to pay anything and if your child needs another shot, you can get it. I also like the fact that they are working in a timely manner. You don't have to sit in one area for too long as everyone is there trying to assist you as best as possible to get you to the next point.”

Meanwhile, principal of Dinthill, Lloyd Fearon, commended the efforts of the alumni to give back to their school and told the Observer that he was proud of the work they were doing.

“They themselves were from humble circumstances,” he said. “They came here and they know the struggle and what it takes to leave home all the way from St Mary, to journey to school and then go back home. But they got the chance to go abroad and they went and developed themselves using the basic academics they got here and so I am delighted that they saw it fit to give back to their alma mater,” he added.

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