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Apr 29, 2011

Foreign doctors offer free heath care at Health Expo

A team of medical professionals is in Belize for one week to provide medical, health and wellness services to at least one thousand residents.  In the Belize District, the group is conducting screening, education and a health awareness campaign. The initiative is a collaboration of the Ministry of Health with a Christian-based organization, Health and Development Services (HANDS) International. The voluntary non-profit agency has a team of diverse medical professionals hoping to channel a change in the health and development of the public.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Antonius Brandon

Today the Central Health Region partnered with HANDS International to kick off their week of activities with a Health Expo. HANDS, a team of thirty two medical professionals will be providing a range of free medical services. President, Antonius Brandon, said that they have a specific objective.

Antonius Brandon, President- Hands International

“Exposure, we want to expose people to health practices and life style changes that will enhance their lives. Ultimately if we find that people need medical care, we would like to provide access to the existing medical community so that people make use of what is available to them already.”

To help create that exposure, the all day expo saw the input of numerous organizations providing free services.

Joan Flowers

Joan Flowers, Deputy Regional Manager, Central Health Region, Min. of Health

“Today we have a full day’s activity of medical services to the residents of Belize City. We will be having specialized care services at Cleopatra White Center and Port Loyola Health Center in the city. We will also be having an all day fair where we have different organizations that will be giving services to the population. We will be having Cancer Society, The Diabetic Association, BERT services will be here as well, we have B.F.L.A. who will be here also giving services.”

Some of the associations provided free testing, while others had displays and offered free information.

Andrea Cox, President Kidney Association of Belize

Andrea Cox

“Our organization focuses on causes and prevention of Kidney Diseases which are increasing rapidly in our country now. And the main cause, the two main causes are Diabetes and Hypertension. So we’re out here trying to share education about how to prevent diabetes. Yuh know, high risk people if you have other members of your family with diabetes right away you know you’re a high risk or people who suffer with hypertension. You need to keep checking your  kidney function because  sometimes you just ignore it because we also sometimes found out in March that lots of people walking  around with high glucose levels, high hypertension and they’re not even taking medication, they’re not even aware of it, so in a few years they might end up with failed kidneys.”

Doreen Madrill

Doreen Madrill, Belize Blood Bank

“We’re doing blood groups and blood level. Well basically what the Blood Bank is looking forward to is to try form a club 25 dealing with young people from ages 18-25.”

Andrea Polanco

“So what will this club 25 be doing, what work they expect to do?”

Doreen Madrill

“Targeting young people to live a healthier life and yuh know encourage them to stay in school. Basically we’re targeting the high schools nuh.”

Michael Pratt

Michael Pratt, B.E.R.T

“Right now we’re concerned anything that got to do with cardiac, so at BERT we are concerned about people’s lifestyle umm so out here we’re displaying just in case anybody would like their high blood pressure to be checked we’re checking it out. And for the Diabetics, here we have our machine there that we will go and check with the gloucometer.”

Rachel Richards

Rachel Richards, BFLA

“Birth control,  umm pamphlets indicating that we do pap smears, we do tie off- parascopic tie off, we do umm HIV/STI testing, counseling for family relating problems, any issues that might be affecting the youths and of  course the general public of today. We basically focus on sexual and reproductive health care.”

And while this is a one day expo, the work of the HANDS team will help to determine the need for further work in Belize.

Antonius Brandon

“Yes one of the things that we’ve consistently done and we’re doing that here, is the physicians look at what the needs are the bigger needs and then we plan subsequent visits according to those needs. This is like introducing our needs to let people see that we’re cooperative; we don’t come and do our own thing we’ve worked very closely with the Ministry of Health. We’re trying to understand but also to introduce ourselves and if we can be of help in the future , we have specialists in name the specialty we have it and if there is a need  and we can arrange for them to come and bring their services.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

HANDS International will be conducting free medical clinics in the Belize River Valley starting May third through to May sixth. If you’d like more information on the dates and times of other clinics contact the Belize Central Health Region at 223-2723 or 223-2722.

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2 Responses for “Foreign doctors offer free heath care at Health Expo”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Thank you…

  2. Lucas says:

    A month ago, I said they were coming and that they would concentrate in the Belize district. One of the doctors in the group is my good friend. Thank you my friend on behalf of my people.

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