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Good turn-out for first Women’s Health-a-thon | 11 November 2019

Good turn-out for first Women’s Health-a-thon

The first Women’s Health-a-thon which was held last Saturday at the NSC Hall at Roche Caiman attracted a good crowd.

Organised by the Soroptimist International Club of Victoria, the Doctors for Doctors Association (D4DS) with the support of the US embassy based in Mauritius, the first Women’s Health-a-thon has been described “a success”.

The event was firstly initiated by the US embassy in Mauritius and was a first of its kind in Seychelles. The Soroptimist Club, together with D4DS, have partnered with various other local organisations to sensitise and educate the local community about the importance of conducting check-ups regularly.

The aim of the one-day event was to raise more awareness on various health topics and common diseases locally.

The event was also being organised in support of all the work being done by the Ministry of Health and other non-governmental organisations towards promoting a healthier lifestyle among the population.

Present at the event, the Minister for Health, Jean-Paul Adam, congratulated the organisers for such an initiative. “What I find very encouraging from today’s event is that we are mainstreaming healthy lifestyles and awareness of our health and screening as part of our daily lives in Seychelles. We just had a month on awareness of cancer and we have been offering daily screening in our health centres, and major public areas. We are today also offering, under one roof, a wider range of screening and also give the opportunity to people to learn more about the tests and their health and healthy eating; about the civil society who interacted with the public and share their views. Our biggest challenge today is non-communicable diseases (NCDs). And the fight against NCDs is not one that can be done in just health centres or in hospitals. On the contrary it starts with each individual and has to be taken in our communities and it has to feature everywhere in a systematic fashion. The key messages today that we must always remember are: practice a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise; through healthy eating and to avoid risky behaviour such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and other associated activities. By practicing all these elements we are building resilience in our society to tackle NCDs and to truly live by the spirit of ‘My Health, My Responsibility!’

The minister also congratulated the D4Ds association for coming in such big numbers to help the society and thanked the US embassy for recognising the importance of such an event and by supporting it.

David Kay, management officer at the US embassy in Mauritius, noted that being a doctor himself, this activity holds a special place for him.

“The US embassy in Mauritius is very happy to partner with stakeholders in Seychelles to promote life and happiness. We all know how poor health can affect our lives and sometimes we take good health for granted. It’s important to step back every now and again and use opportunities like this to discover aspects of our lives we can have checked to make sure we stay ahead of things. The US and Seychelles are very far from each other but we are happy to be here to build relationships, to build bridges and to build synergy together,” noted Mr Kay.

Maria Ah-Moye, chairperson of the Soroptimist Club of Victoria, noted that the event was mainly to raise awareness of what the Ministry of Health is offering for prevention, screening, early detection and a variety of health disorders and secondly to increase uptake of all these free services.

“The Ministry of Health is providing more services such as free screening and we strongly encourage the public to come forward to make use of them. Soroptimist also thanks all the stakeholders who came forward to make this event a success.”

Dr Vanessa Lesperance, the acting chairperson of D4Ds, thanked all those who made the effort in participating in this event. Around noon, when we did a review with her, she told our newspaper that “already more that 100 people did their check-ups. We had to send somebody urgently to the hospital due to abnormal blood sugar. Fifteen doctors came to help out with some 10 nurses. The beauty of being a doctor is the profound difference it can make in society. We will continue serving the community making one small change at a time. We are happy that we are able to come closer to our patients and help educate them”.

Members of the public seized the opportunity to get their tests done and seek advice from the number of doctors and nurses available on the day.

Various healthy food and drinks were on sale on the day and various entrepreneurs also showcased some local products.

There was live cooking of healthy food by Hilton group of hotels, eye check-up by Dr Murthy’s clinic, ambulance service provided by the Red Cross Society of Seychelles, Cancer Concern Association, Waso, Belliche Cosmetics, Providence en Mouvman, JB’s Take away, Tropical Fruit Juices, La Flèche, Fenella Plows, JOBO, ESA among others.

There was also a corner dedicated for children where there was free face painting.

The Soroptimist Club also made a donation to the Ministry of Health on that day.

The day ended with a fashion show sponsored by Bernie’s shop.

The accompanying photos by our photographer Louis Toussaint show some highlights of the event.

 

Vidya Gappy

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