FOR Alicia Francis, the health fair staged by the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) was an answer to her prayers, as it had been nearly impossible to book an appointment to get her five-year-old daughter’s medical done in time for the start of the new school year.
With back-to-school preparations in full swing, many parents and guardians were faced with the pressure to quickly obtain medicals for their charges for the approaching academic year. In an effort to relieve the strain on local medical resources, MAJ staged a back-to-school health fair at the Jamaica College auditorium in St Andrew on September 3 and 4.
“I went to so many different paediatricians in hopes of getting an appointment to do my daughter’s school medical,” explained Francis, as she watched her daughter being assessed by the nurses at the fair. “I saw a flyer in the school’s WhatsApp group and made my way here as quickly as possible.”
The health fair facilitated school medicals for 1,000 students in the Corporate Area in time for the start of the 2022-23 school year. The philanthropic initiative was made possible through a partnership with National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCBJ) Limited, whose donation of $400,000 towards the initiative helped to acquire medical supplies needed by the MAJ to successfully execute the fair.
“Students from the surrounding communities were able to get their medicals done for free,” said Dr Brian James, president of the MAJ. “When we reached out to NCB, we were immediately met with a favourable response, and for that we are very grateful.”
The two-day fair met its objectives of providing medical services to students, inspiring a healthy lifestyle through a series of health talks and individual counselling, and a linkage of special services to complex cases. More than 50 COVID-19 vaccinations were also administered at the fair.