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Focus on health, wellness as MegaMart gives back

Sunday, November 17, 2019

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A hot and sunny day it was, but this didn't deter scores of people from attending the second annual Mega Health and Wellness Fair two Saturdays ago at MegaMart Waterloo Road.

The initiative, which was spearheaded by MegaMart Wholesale Club, saw sponsors, volunteers and experts cover topics such as chronic non-communicable disease, infant health and care, dental health, skin care, diet and nutrition, and mental health, while also providing free medical services to the public.

Tents were erected and mobile medical units rolled in to administer much-needed care to patrons on site, as MegaMart Wholesale Club sought to give back to the community. And, of course, the festivities wouldn't be complete without food sampling to bring it all together.

Chronic non-communicable diseases

It's no secret that non-communicable diseases — cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes — have been plaguing our citizens for years and are the leading cause of death in Jamaica.

MegaMart Pharmacy, with help from the National Health Fund, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Sagicor Life, and Guardian Life Ltd, set out to educate the public throughout the event on preventative measures, early detection and life after diagnosis. Patrons were beckoned to participate, taking full advantage of diabetic and foot care information, as well as blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol checks.

Dental screening and cleaning

Dental surgeons and volunteers from the Colgate Mobile Dental Unit had their hands full with patrons seeking free consultations. Not only were customers able to receive information about their current oral health status and treatment needs, the team had demonstrations throughout the event for all those in need of a little refresher course on proper oral health.

Skin care

For all customers who'd been experiencing difficulties achieving healthy glowing skin, a Neutrogena team was on hand to recommend products to patrons, as well as to offer skin analysis services to determine the health of people's skin.

Infant nutrition and care

Brands Nestle and Johnson's took patrons to school on what babies need for internal and external health and wellness. Nestle Klim Infant Formula — an instant modified milk powder fortified with vitamins and minerals — was a hit with parents as they swarmed the booth with their little ones for more information. Johnson's, on the other hand, delighted customers with their 'baby' in a bathing basin demonstration, showing the use of Johnson's line of baby products.

Mental health and wellness

A topic finally creeping into the spotlight of Jamaican society due to help from champions like the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department, five of its team representatives were stationed at the health and wellness fair with pamphlets addressing topics such as mental wellness and how to take control of your mental health. Individuals were also informed about the suite of services offered by the organisation.

Diet and nutrition counselling

Representatives from the different partners were keen in informing patrons to ensure best practices in diet and weight management. There, patrons could be seen getting weight checks, body mass index (BMI) readings and dieting tips.

Health insurance

While Jamaica is definitely moving in the right direction when it comes to accessing health insurance, many Jamaicans work for small employers that cannot afford to offer benefits like health and basic life insurance. They are often on their own when it comes to protecting their finances from the devastation that can arise from an unexpected accident, illness or death.

Patrons were therefore informed of the strategies and options available to them by Sagicor Life Jamaica Ltd, Guardian Life Ltd and MGI (Insurance Brokers) Ltd.

Drug and prescription counselling

“Bring your prescriptions and medications”, was the herald of the day by the chief pharmacist at MegaMart Waterloo. Here, prescriptions and drugs were reviewed to ensure correct self-administration of drugs, questions and answers related to length of administration and how to be on the lookout for signs of pesky side effects some drugs may cause.

Food sampling

To say food is a huge 'staple' of Jamaican culture would be the understatement of the century. But while we do enjoy our lathers of seasoning and flavourful spices, we must not ignore the healthy options available to us. Several brands were on site to teach a thing or two about preparing delicious healthy meals.


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