Minister calls for more frequent health screenings

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The Minister of Health and Environment Molwyn Joseph has called on his ministry to offer more health screenings at its headquarters.
Joseph requested this after being pleased with the number of people that turned out on Thursday for routine check-ups and screenings for hypertension, diabetes and other health problems.
He said that the public square in front of the building was created in the hope that similar activities would be conducted regularly.
“Based on the crowd and the number of people I see here, it’s quite successful and I hope we can have this done many more times. This is the time of public outreach. I think it’s very important that we promote the idea of people taking responsibility for their own health,” he said.
The minister also said that the new space would make regular screenings easier to carry out compared to previous instances where the effort obstructed traffic.
“When we designed this public space, this is one of the activities we expect to take place from time to time. You would recall that in the past, we had to block Redcliffe Street to undertake these activities, now we are able to undertake the activities without impeding the traffic.”
Chief Nutritionist Avis Jonas reported that the turnout exceeded her expectations and advised those with abnormal readings to seek further medical attention.
“It was a good turnout,” she said. “This showed that people were getting more and more interested in the state of their health and I think that’s a good sign. In terms of results, they were mixed and we advised persons whose results were abnormal to continue monitoring or visit their physician,” she said.
Health and Wellness Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross, Mellissa Johnson reiterated the need for the public to get regular check-ups due to the prevalence of certain chronic diseases in the Caribbean.
“We are just asking everybody to just check their health because we live in the Caribbean and we know that hypertension and diabetes are big issues in families so if you know you have these in your family history, get checked,” she said.
Over 160 individuals were screened on Thursday, and although the exercise was supposed to end at 1 pm, it continued well into the afternoon.

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