Preparations are underway for the first Bahamas Primary Health Care Training Centre’s Community Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, December 13 on the grounds of the Fox Hill Community Clinic. The fair, which is being held under the theme: “Achieving Healthy Lifestyles Through Community Participation”, will be held from 10am-3pm. Dr. Candice Cargil, Director of the BPHCTC, is pictured (centre) along with staff of the facility.
Nassau, Bahamas — Healthcare officials at the Bahamas Primary Health Care Training Centre (BPHCTC) of the Fox Hill Health Clinic are taking a major step towards ensuring that residents of Fox Hill and surrounding communities take ownership of their health by hosting the Centre’s first community Health Fair on Saturday, December 13.
The Fair will be held on the front lawn of the Fox Hill Clinic.
Dr. Candice Cargill, Director of the BPHCTC said the fair is part of the Centre’s mandate and mission to improve the quality of the holistic healthcare of persons in the community, and those who visit the Centre by getting residents to understand the importance of taking responsibility for their own well-being through healthier lifestyle choices.
Healthier choices, she said, obviously lead to healthier lifestyles and reduced illnesses.
It is also part of a larger Department of Public Health and Ministry of Health public awareness and education campaign to create healthier communities throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas through the promotion of healthy living.
That campaign also involves promoting the role healthy living it plays in minimizing the impacts of illnesses, particularly chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, strokes and certain cardiac conditions which have become major issues in communities throughout The Bahamas.
“We are really trying to reach out to the entire community so that we can help build healthy lifestyles and healthier communities by getting people to take ownership of their health,” Dr. Cargill said.
“A lot of persons tend to rely solely upon the physician and/or the nurse to ensure that they live healthy lifestyles and really and truly, the physician and/or nurse should be at the end of the spectrum.
“We want to help people understand that maintaining quality health, and managing their health, is really about what they can do on a daily basis – hence the types of lifestyles they employ and/or enjoy are very important to maintaining good health.”
Dr. Cargill said good health is not just the absence of disease, but that it is “also about ensuring that a person’s mental, physical, social and spiritual needs are all in tune.”
She said that as a result, the Fair will not only focus on the clinical side of healthcare insofar as glaucoma, cholesterol, hypertension, diabetic checks and other tests that will be performed, but will also ensure that the social, spiritual and mental health needs of the residents are met “as we work towards improving the holistic needs of persons visiting our centre and those in our community.”
Dr. Cargill said professionals from the banking and financial services industries will make presentations on budgeting which she says “is very relevant considering the impact the fall-out from the declining world economies can have, and are having, on small-island states such as The Bahamas.”
“We have also have professionals from the psychological realm who will speak about managing stress during tough economic times, while we have also scheduled a presentation on gardening which we feel will serve two purposes by first, encouraging more persons to grow fruits and vegetables in their backyards which can reduce their costs while encouraging them to eat more healthy, while also reducing stress.
“One of the benefits of gardening is stress reduction and so we want to encourage more persons to take up gardening as a hobby. We will also have a masseuse therapist and fitness instructor who will make presentations on the importance of exercise and good relaxation techniques because those things also help to reduce stress levels,” Dr. Cargill added.
Organizers of the event have arranged two competitions for the schools in the area as a further promotion of healthy living. The high schools will engage in a healthy cooking competition where they will be allowed to develop recipes based on a healthy fruit or vegetable or both. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third-place finishers.
“For the younger children in junior high and primary school we will have an art competition in which we will ask the primary school students to produce a drawing of a basket of fruit and prizes for first, second and third place finishers will be awarded, while the junior high students will be asked to come up with their own depiction of our theme,” Dr. Cargill added.