MONTEGO BAY, St James - Sandals resorts in the Montego Bay region last Friday collaborated with the Cornwall Regional Hospital, the MoBay Hope Medical Centre and the St James Health Department to host a one-day free health clinic for residents of John's Hall in St James.
Over 160 residents took advantage of the services provided during the clinic, which was held at the John's Hall Primary School.
Services offered included rapid HIV testing and counselling, depression screening, nutrition counselling, blood pressure and blood sugar tests, heart checks and consultations with medical doctors on site.
Representatives from the Western Jamaica Cancer Society and St James Health Department were also on hand to make presentations on cancer, diabetes and healthy lifestyle choices.
Medical matters aside, the clinic sought to provide a more holistic experience with a prayer room for those seeking spiritual intervention, as well as a children's corner complete with toys and books for the younger attendees.
Jezrese Wallace-Wright, a resident of John's Hall and member of the John's Hall Community Development Committee (CDC) which facilitated the clinic, was among those who lauded the initiative.
"A lot of the people in the districts that make up John's Hall are not always able to get the medical care they need, especially since we don't have these kinds of initiatives very often," stated Wallace-Wright. "There is only one Type 1 clinic in the John's Hall area, so anyone who needs to see the doctor has to go to Catherine Hall or Maroon Town and there are many older people living without family members in this area who find it difficult to travel that far."
An estimated 20 per cent of the residents in John's Hall are senior citizens.
"The clinic is a great example of how the private and public sector can come together to positively impact the lives of the Jamaican citizenry," said Sandals Public Relations Manager, Rochelle Forbes.
Partners, Cornwall Regional Hospital and Mobay Hope Medical Centre are equally excited about the prospects that this new partnership holds. "Community outreach projects and volunteerism have always been a strong part of the fabric of the Mobay Hope medical centre family and we are honoured to continue serving communities in need," said Nicola Francis, commercial coordinator of Hospiten Jamaica Ltd/Mobay Hope Medical Centre. "It was certainly a pleasure being able to partner with Sandals and extend our medical expertise to the residents of the John's Hall community."