ST JAMES, Jamaica – Scores of individuals streamed into the Heart Smart Centre Limited at the GWest Medical Centre in Montego Bay, St James, for free heart disease screening to mark World Heart Day, celebrated on September 29 each year.
After registration, the individuals got their weight, height, blood pressure and blood sugar checked at the health facility.
They were subsequently sent home, if results of the checks prove to be normal, but were directed to Dr Claudine Lewis, cardiologist at Heart Smart Centre, for further evaluation if any abnormalities are detected.
"The whole part of screening is to pick up people who may have symptoms, or may be at risk, whether through family history, or maybe they have something like high blood pressure, that have no symptoms; pick them up and then we put them on the path for having further evaluations," explained Dr Lewis.
She was elated over the overwhelming turn-out for the free evaluation offered by Heart Smart Centre.
"The response from our guests have been amazing, they really appreciate the experience. It's a little bit hectic because it's a lot of people who have tried to access the services today but we have worked out some of the kinks and so far it’s pretty good. We are at 75 now in terms of persons who have registered....with all the rain and everything," the cardiologist said.
After accessing the service, a 70-year-old Montego Bay woman, Monica Bennett, was found with abnormalities. She used the free service to verify a similar diagnosis at the health clinic.
"It's okay. I am glad about getting the opportunity to do it because sometimes you don't have the money to do it. And I am glad about it. They told me that I have a problem with my heart so I need to see a specialist. My doctor at the clinic already told me, but I am happy for the second opinion," Bennett said.