Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Sandals Foundation, Adventists collaborate for health expo

Published: Saturday | August 2, 2014

Sandals Regional Public Relations Manager Lyndsay Isaacs fits a slipper on the foot of this little boy. - Photo by Carl Gilchrist

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer


IN A partnership worthy of emulating, Sandals Foundation and the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists staged a huge health and services expo in Ocho Rios recently.

Held at the Urban Development Corporation lot along Milford Road, the event saw free services being offered by doctors and other health personnel along with representatives from the Registrar General's Department (RGD), Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Food for The Poor, FAMPLAN and other departments.

Hundreds of residents from St Ann and neighbouring St Mary turned out for the event, which preceded the start of a month-long crusade by the Seventh-day Adventists.

One resident of Lime Hall, Veronica Brown, described the occasion of free health clinic as wonderful.

"I come to the expo to check my pressure and my sugar," Brown stated.

"I've done so much things and I'm learning too. I did not know about my sugar, the doctor talked to me, and now I know a lot more, what I'm to do, and what I'm not to do.


"I think the expo is wonderful, it's helping a lot of people. They come here and get all these services free, it's wonderful."

The team from North Jamaica Conference (NJC) was happy to be able to assist the community

"The health and education expo is a programme which is planned in joint partnership with the Sandals Foundation, which is renowned islandwide for the philanthropic work which they do," explained Garth Geddes, the organisation's health ministry's director.

"We sought to bring together as many health practitioners as possible as well as service-oriented companies such as RGD, FAMPLAN and others."

Pastor Omar Oliphant, youth and communications director at NJC, said, "The expo has had a significant impact on the lives of individuals, not only in Ocho Rios, but also individuals who came from as far as St Mary to access the various services."

Regional public relations officer at Sandals, Lyndsay Isaacs, said along with the services offered, residents also benefited from donation of books, pencils and shoes, courtesy of Food for The Poor.

Pap smears, HIV tests, blood sugar and blood pressure tests, and dental checks were among the services offered.

"Sandals Foundation continues to help the lives of many Jamaicans in whatever way we can," Isaacs stated. "We reach out to others and if it means partnering with other institutions, other companies, there we are!"

Meanwhile, the Adventists have started their month-long evangelistic campaign, which NJC president Karl Archer said will be really big.

"Currently, we are engaged in the Metro Mission '14 Programme, it's part of a worldwide Adventist focus on major cities across the world," he said in explaining the health expo. "This programme will transition into a social intervention programme eventually."


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