Community Testing Day A Success
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 01, 2011 (SKNIS)
The Sandy Point Community Testing Day was described as a tremendous success and demonstrated that health services can continue to be brought to the community in tangible and creative ways.
This is according to Christine Wattley, Community Nurse Manager for Community Health Based Services at the Pogson Medical Centre, who explained that while the testing day was for all persons living in Sandy Point and surrounding communities, special emphasis was placed on women. She explained to the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that the main drive was the prevention of cervical cancer.
“This [cervical cancer] is the only cancer that can be prevented,” Ms Wattley explained. “So prior to the Community Testing Day we embarked on a public awareness exercise, particularly with the employees at Harowe Servo Controls Ltd. In addition to getting pap smears, we also wanted to make sure that the women received an overall health check including an HIV test. So we went to the factory and promoted the Testing Day and followed up.”
Ms. Wattley revealed that over 100 persons attended the Community Testing Day and had one or more of the health screenings for HIV, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. She revealed that 65 pap smears were done on that day (Tuesday, May 31.)
When asked how she was able to attain such a successful turnout, Ms. Wattley stated: “You have to plan your work and then work your plan.” She emphasized that it is ultimately the residents of the community who will benefit, because in knowing their health status, they will be able to treat any illnesses/conditions that may be present and prevent others.
The Community Nurse Manager revealed that it is her Division’s intention to do a follow up Community Testing Day as several persons regretted being unable to attend on May 31. She also thanked the hardworking professionals of all the Health Divisions who partnered in the Community Testing Day including the Pogson Medical Centre, the Community Health Services Division, the National AIDS Secretariat and the Joseph N. France General Hospital Government Laboratory.