Community Nurse Manager, of the Pogson Medical Centre, Mrs. Christine Wattley, said that her department recently launched a Community Testing Day, held in Sandy Point on Tuesday 31st May, 2011, and they have been encouraged by the strong support for the initiative, as demonstrated by members of that community and other surrounding districts.
She described the testing Day as a tremendous success with tests being carried out to screen for various medical illnesses.
Ms. Wattley revealed that over 100 persons attended the Community Testing Day and had one or more of the health screenings for HIV, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. She revealed that 65 pap smears were done on Tuesday, 31st May 31.
“This [cervical cancer] is the only cancer that can be prevented,” Ms Wattley explained. “So prior to the Community Testing Day we embarked on a public awareness exercise, particularly with the employees at Harowe Servo Controls Ltd. In addition to getting pap smears, we also wanted to make sure that the women received an overall health check including an HIV test. So we went to the factory and promoted the Testing Day and followed up.”
Wattley attributed the success of the day to careful planning and coordination, “You have to plan your work and then work your plan.” She emphasized that it is ultimately the residents of the community who will benefit, because in knowing their health status, they will be able to treat any illnesses/conditions that may be present and prevent others.
A number of other medical departments collaborated with Pogson Medical Centre, including the Community Health Services Division, the National AIDS Secretariat and the Joseph N. France General Hospital Government Laboratory.
Follow programs are now being considered to make sure that the greatest number of persons are reached and assisted, said Nurse Wattley.