Residents of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara and neighbouring communities on Wednesday benefitted from a medical outreach programme conducted by University of Guyana, Health Sciences students of Turkeyen Campus.

Utilising the compound of the Plaisance Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the students made available to the people, services such as blood pressure and glucose testing, nutritional counseling and other services.

In addition to the medical services, the students distributed care packages containing items of day-to-day use that would improve the health of residents.

The students’ supervisor, Dr. Michelle James, who is also the head of the Public Health Department on campus, told Guyana Chronicle that the outreach was part of the students’ course work.

“We do not want to only allow our students to understand the theoretical part of their content area, but we want to ensure that they understand the practical component of it. So we are here to implement part of the content that was taught in the classroom, so the students are exposed to health promotion and health education,” Dr James said.
She noted that the outreach is held annually, with different batches of students, going into different communities, to provide different services.

“During the course of their study, they are responsible to go out in the community and implement part of the content and the task chosen for this year was to target the persons with hypertension and diabetes. The students had to plan, organise and execute this programme, and in the end, they will evaluate to see if it was a success,” Dr James 20190405 7
The students were drawn from the departments of medical technology, medical imaging, environmental health, pharmacy and optometry.

Leader of the students planning and organising committee, Shani Bellamy, said though the activity was organised for them to attain a grade, they were grateful for the practical experience.

“What this health promotion is helping us do, is to inform persons about their health, and how to better promote a healthy lifestyle. It will benefit us individually as students, in many ways, because when we go out into the world of work, we will know how to go about administering the health knowledge to persons, to better their lives,” Bellamy said.
She said the experience gained also fosters an even deeper love for their career in the health sector.

“Seeing how we can contribute to better a person’s health and improving their knowledge on taking care of their health is really a great feeling. So coming off that classroom setting, and actually seeing the contributions our career make to bettering lives, will help each of us to perform better,” Bellamy added.