BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 2, 2018 (PLP PR Media Inc.)* — Scores of residents in the Molineux District, and from far afield including Basseterre and other towns and villages, on Saturday June 30 received free wellness screening at a Community Health Fair organised by the Ross University School of Medicine.
The health fair, which took place on grounds of the Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux, was the second since the university relocated to St. Kitts last year from Dominica after the country was devastated by Hurricane Maria. A similar fair was held in April at the Pogson Hospital for the Sandy Point District, by the institution that is currently operating from a satellite campus in Frigate Bay.
“The fair is a part of the training of the students, in that we have done the basic training with them but now they get a chance to apply it to the patients in the community under supervision,” noted Dr Yasmin Burnett, professor of Clinical Medicine and the Director of Clinical Community Programme at the Ross University School of Medicine. “We partnered with the Ministry of Health team in Molineux where we conducted general health screening for the patients in the catchment area for the Mary Charles Hospital.”
There were a number of stations under tents where patients underwent BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose, and general vision screening as well as checking on the heart and lungs, and patient education. The patients were also asked to give general information in terms of whether one has any chronic illnesses, and what are their current chronic conditions.
Screening at the various stations was done by the medical students, while the check-off was done by the university’s physicians along with the Ministry of Health physicians and nurses. Dr Burnett noted: “At the end we had our physicians who checked on the patients to explain to them what their results meant, and what they had to do afterwards.”
“The fair is also part of giving back to the country, which is our philosophy because we want our students to grow with that responsibility,” explained Dr Burnett. “As an organisation, we recognise that we need to give back to the community that we are involved in.”
She talked highly of the hospitality they have so far received since they moved to St. Kitts in October last year.
“I think we have adjusted now to St. Kitts,” said Dr Burnett. “St. Kitts is a very beautiful country – the Kittitians have been very welcoming to us, and accommodating to us to make us comfortable. Of course you miss home but I think we have made this our second home while we fix home.”
Nurse Nelyssa Hutchinson of the Mary Charles Hospital who took advantage of the screening process reported that it had a good turn up, and described it as being a very good initiative by the Ross University School of Medicine as it gave members of the public an opportunity to benefit from what the medical students have learnt, and to also familiarize with them.
The Mary Charles Hospital was refurbished and reopened in 2016 by the Team Unity Government at a cost of nearly EC$1 million. Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, who is also the local area parliamentary representative was instrumental in ensuring that funds which came from the government and a number of private donors were available to modernize the health institution which was first built in 1986.
At the reopening ceremony held on Wednesday August 31, 2016, Prime Minister Harris noted: “I feel a sense of relief that just 18 months after a Team Unity victory, we are here for a ceremony to hand over the renovated, re-tooled, as good as brand new facility called the Mary Charles Hospital.”