July 16, 2019

Adventist Communicators Put Together Free Health Fair in Jamaica

Lawrie Henry, Inter-American Division News

More than 120 residents of the Lilliput community in Jamaica were treated to a free health fair on July 7, 2019. The event was organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church through its Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Conference, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 4-6, 2019.

The health event was a collaborative effort between the WJC Transforming Lives Foundation, Three Angels Pharmacy Mobile Clinic, and the Lilliput Seventh-day Adventist Church, as a way to give back to the community, organizers said.

“Many of the residents were not able to come to the conference, but we know there are health challenges all around,” said Nigel Coke, communication director for the Adventist Church in Jamaica and main organizer of the GAiN event. It was important to have an impact on the community concerning the importance of keeping healthy and embracing a healthy lifestyle, Coke said. “Everyone wants to be healthy, and a healthy lifestyle is crucial to Seventh-day Adventists,” he added.

Services included ophthalmology, pediatric and dental care, eye testing, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, body mass index checks, and healthy lifestyle education.

Five doctors, one counselor, twelve medical missionaries, and several nurses and support staff were present to deliver health care and counseling.

One of the first patients to be treated was Joan Campbell, who needed help for pain.

“I prefer to come here [rather than other health facilities]. You don’t have as much crowd, and you don't have to wait long. The service is good; Doctor Gilbert is nice,” she said.

Other patients said they felt that the initiative is an excellent idea for the community because it gives people easy access to much-needed health care.

Mark Nembhard, a church elder at the Lilliput Adventist church and a medical missionary, said the fair is another in a series of health outreach programs carried out since April 2019. Nembhard said persons had seen improvement in their health after visiting the fairs.

“We recheck people after the fair, and you can see improvements in many of them with regards to cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes. We come back and check people here, or we send them to the wellness center in Montego Bay. And Doctor Matthew O’Connor comes to the Lilliput Adventist church once a month to see how they are doing,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.