More than twenty local residents came out for free medical screenings at the annual Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) Health Fair on Saturday in The Bottom. This reports The Daily Herald. Organizers said although attendance was somewhat down this year, they were still pleased to provide the annual public service. “I think it went really well. A lot of people came in the morning, which was great,” said Student Government Association President James Vailiant. “It kind of died out in the afternoon. We had fewer people than last year. Last year, we had between 40 and 50 people. This year, I think we had between 20 and 25. We would like to see that number go up higher next time.”
The screenings, which took place on SUSOM campus, included tests to determine blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, pulmonary capacity, and heart rates, along with a pharmacology review and medical consultation. After an initial sign in for basic information, residents were walked through each of the screening stations. The process took approximately one hour. Child care and refreshments were provided.
“The purpose of the health fair is really twofold,” Vailiant said. “The first is for the Saba community to come and get free screening tests. People coming with their children could drop them off. We had all kinds of things there, like games and colouring books. Once they came in, we took a patient’s history. We asked some preliminary questions like age, weight, height and all that stuff. We looked at their family history for any history of diseases. It was a way for us to give back to the community. “It also gave us a chance to have some patient contact and utilize some of the practices we are learning in school. We get to look at the numbers and we get to talk about them with the professors. So it is a good experience for the students too,” Vailiant said.
The health fair is conducted each year and is sponsored by local supermarkets. Organizers said they were looking forward to a larger turnout next year. “In the past, these screenings were a really big thing we used to do,” said Vailiant. “We had them out in front of My Store or Big Rock. Since then, it has moved over to the school. The turnout always has been good in the past. “The health fair runs every summer. We try to target it for mid-July. Almost every time the health fair runs, half of the students are new faces. They have never been through one before, so it is neat how it is constantly changing hands. It is a neat tradition that we have going, and we want to keep it going.”