Hundreds of residents of western parishes turned out to access free health services on Tuesday (December 10) during the annual Don Daly Medical Mission.
A team of 85 medical professionals and volunteers from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in the United States administered a range of services at three clinics set up in Negril and Ketto in Westmoreland and Flanker in St. James.
These include dental and optical services, blood sugar and blood pressure tests, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmaceuticals and more.
The 19-year-old health mission, held in partnership with the Government of Jamaica and the Sandals Foundation, is the brainchild of Jamaican radio personality in Florida, Don Daly, and Jamaican-born doctor and Associate Professor of family medicine at NSU, Dr. Paula Anderson-Worts.
Dr. Anderson-Worts, who spoke to JIS News at the clinic held at the Flanker Peace and Justice Centre, said that in addition to treating health problems, “we provide a lot of education to patients”.
“This is because even when the medicine is done, what helps the patients the most is education, where they are taking control of their own health and doing the things that they can do to make themselves healthier,” she noted.
As such, she said that patients are sensitised about the importance of proper nutrition, exercise and getting enough rest.
“We also help them to understand their condition, so they can make some lifestyle modifications to improve their overall health,” Dr. Anderson-Worts added.
Mr. Daly, for his part, said he is pleased with the turnout for the Flanker clinic.
“The day has been tremendous. We’ve had a good stream of people coming through and they all seem to have some good experiences,” he told JIS News.
“We sit down and talk to people and hear what is happening and then do what we need to do to make things better for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, residents expressed gratitude for the health services provided.
Horatio Dixon of Flanker, who uses a wheelchair, said he is pleased to have received assistance in addressing his medical needs.