UTech hosts successful back-to-school community health and services fair
UNIVERSITY of Technology (UTech), Jamaica, as part of the major outreach initiatives commemorating the institution’s 65th anniversary, hosted a successful back-to-school community health and services fair on July 27 at its Papine and Arthur Wint campuses.
The health fair was jointly organised by the university’s Human Resources Division, the Community Service Department, Joint Colleges of Medicine, Oral Health, and Veterinary Sciences and the UTech, Jamaica Students’ Union.
Scores of people from communities surrounding the two campuses, as well as UTech, Jamaica employees, students and their family members, took advantage of the various health and wellness services offered throughout the day. Several partnering organisations were well represented by dedicated team members who, from well-equipped pop-up booths, offered well-needed services to the attendees.
Among the free health services provided were back-to-school medicals for students aged 10 to 12, blood pressure, HIV and body mass index tests, eye and hearing checks, vaccination and oral health checks including dental cleaning and extractions. The health services were provided by UTech, Jamaica College of Oral Health, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, among others.
At least 150 people who registered for dental cleaning were transported to the College of Oral Health Sciences, Arthur Wint Drive campus by shuttle service. Other patrons of the fair seized the opportunity to receive assistance with personal documents such as their NIS, PATH, tax and health records with representatives on hand from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Registrar General’s Department, and the Ministry of Health’s National Health Fund.
Professor Haldane Johnson, acting deputy president, UTech, Jamaica, commended the organising team and sponsors for their joint effort in making the fair a reality, noting that “both our students and members of staff are engaged in a variety of service projects geared towards making a positive impact on the lives of people by reaching out into the surrounding communities and beyond”.
Johnson asserted that the outreach fair “aligns with UTech, Jamaica’s mission to advance our strong tradition of community engagement and partnership to facilitate capacity building and growth, particularly in the communities in our immediate environs with which we share space and concern”.
Describing the event as a moment for harmonious reintegration, director, Community Service UTech, Paulton Gordon, noted that since the COVID-19 situation and the curtailment of face-to-face outreach activities, “we were looking at opportunities to restart and to get the integration and the harmony back as it relates to our relationship with the communities in and around our space and we saw this as a perfect opportunity”.
“We got the dental persons involved. We got some of our nurses and doctors involved, so it a holistic effort of outreach and giving back to our staff and our adjoining communities,” he said.