|One of the health officials performs a blood pressure test on an employee from the Warrens Industrial Estate. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
Thursday, March 8, may have been International Women’s Day, but it was the men in the industrial estate at Cane Garden, St. Thomas, who received much of the attention during the Warrens Polyclinic Health Expo.
Senior Health Sister at the Warrens Polyclinic, Jeanette Babb, disclosed that the expo had a record number of participants – 120, with the majority being men. Only 23 were female.
They were mostly employees of Williams Industries, L&N Workshop Inc, Climate Control and Auto Link. The Health Expo, which was set up on the pasture opposite Williams Industries and ran from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., was deemed a success by Ms. Babb.
In fact, she said, if all goes well, they would be revisiting the area in October, this year, to reach those men and women in the industrial estate who were out on site and did not get to take advantage of the free blood sugar and blood pressure screening, Body Mass Index (BMI) monitoring, tetanus vaccinations, HIV and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests. There were also healthy foods and literature on display.
Of the participants, 15 men had elevated blood pressure. Ms. Babb said while that number seemed small, it was cause for concern because none of them realised that their blood pressure readings were high. In contrast, the women registered low blood pressure readings, with one having elevated blood sugar.
The tetanus vaccinations were somewhat popular – 25 men and five women received the shot. The males also lined up to have their prostate-specific antigen tests; approximately 24 of them, while 34 were tested for HIV.
Ms. Babb noted that it was alarming since most of those who were tested for HIV were doing it for the first time. She said initiatives like the Health Expo should be encouraged because most of the men who were screened would not have normally gone to the polyclinics or the doctor to have the same tests performed.
Williams Industries’ Director of Manufacturing, John Francis, was one of those who enjoyed the free services. He said: "I got the tetanus vaccination, prostate check, sugar test, PSA test and the BMI screening…I think it is a very good initiative because sometimes we are so busy working that we don’t find the time to go the doctor or a polyclinic. This lends itself to the facilitation of persons who may not have otherwise gone to those places. It is a very relaxed atmosphere and it is in close proximity to work so employees can come and have the various tests done".