Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal Holds Community Health Fair
Nassau, The Bahamas – Healthy Lifestyle Immunity is the common factor for reducing obesity, cancer, diabetes, and high-blood pressure cases throughout The Bahamas. Community walkabouts have proven to be a successful method of finding out who in the community needs the most assistance so Urban Renewal can provide them with the needed resources.
“We are hosting a health fair and we want to do it on an annual basis. We are encouraging the different communities to come out and get their blood pressure checked,” said Patricia Walker, manager of Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal.
On May 28, Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal held a Healthy Lifestyles campaign at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Chippingham.
“We have a lot of seniors that have diabetes and high-blood pressure and related diseases and we want to encourage them to come out continuously, probably about 200 cases or more. When we do our walkabout we have a lot of them that tell you about their illnesses and all the other things they have,” said Ms. Walker.
“A lot of them are not able to come out, so the walkabouts are effective because we go to them. We have all the names of the persons that are mobile and we are trying to work with Baillou Road Clinic and the other healthy lifestyles programmes to see if we can get nurses to go into them and do maybe a one-on-one with the ones that cannot move.”
Cancer cases for women have increased, but are being counteracted with preventative care measures due to women getting regular annual PAP smear tests. Men tend to not get an annual exam for their prostate and only go get checked after they begin to pass urine.
“We want to have people more aware that it is important to be tested for cancer, especially breast cancer. We have a high increase of young women developing breast cancer. May was cancer month and we have a lot of clinics doing free testing for pap smear and breast exams,” said Sherilyn Miller, a volunteer from the Cancer Society.
“We had a good turn out at most of the clinics but the men are still afraid to be checked for some reason. The earlier you start checking the better for you because if you have any pain or discomfort, swelling or discolouration, get it checked. Most people say they are under the age when they should be concerned but young people develop cancer as well.”
Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal Centre, Baillou Hill Road Clinic and the Cancer Society encourage Bahamians to not be afraid to get a check up even if nothing seems wrong. All groups encourage residents in The Bahamas to practice health prevention strategies to control the growing epidemic of lifestyle diseases. High blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer, to name a few, are costing government millions of dollars in rising health costs.
By Gena Gibbs
BAHAMAS INFORMATION SERVICES