Health expo impacts Goroka

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More than 3000 people attended an Adventist Health Expo in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, from October 22 to 27. They sought advice on their health status and received information on various diseases.

Of the total 3141 people, 375 adults received information on tuberculosis, hand hygiene, safe medicine use, smoking and cancers. A total of 346 women sought help on obstetric and gynaecological issues, with 75 accepting further consultation.

A volunteer medico performs a heart health check.

Children also visited the expo, with 161 passing through the child health booth. More than 170 had dental checks while another 417 turned up to get their eyes tested.

Of the 251 people screened for blood donations, only 146 were able to do so. Those rejected either had high blood pressure or other medical issues. Nurses checked 990 for blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. [pullquote]

Nurses and doctors also attended to 141 patients with severe health issues, with most managed on site and others referred to the Goroka Base General Hospital.

Held at the National Day Park, the expo was organised by the Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission (EHSM) in partnership with the PNG Union Mission Health Department. The South Pacific Division and Adventist Development and Relief Agency provided funding through the Church Partnership Program.

Based on the theme Healthy by Choice and Not By Chance, the expo promoted lifestyle as medicine.

An expo volunteer demonstrates proper handwashing procedures.

According to the leader of the health sub-committee, Dr Christopher Ope, the health expo was originally planned to raise awareness on health issues. However, plans changed: staff conducted awareness and clinics in one tent while the second tent was used for the NEW START programme.

Apart from the clinics and NEW START promotion, health workers talked about immunisation, hand hygiene, dental health, family planning and breastfeeding among other issues.

South Pacific Division health representative Dr Chester Kuma spoke to the people each night about living healthy lifestyles, diseases and how they affect lives. Literature evangelists drew crowds to their booth as they taught people how to use food as medicine. Dr Kuma also spoke to health workers, pastors and students of the University of Goroka on Sabbath.

People who attended the expo said they were grateful for the service provided and thanked the Church for the initiative. Meanwhile, EHSM secretary Pastor Danny Philip thanked everyone involved in staging a successful program.

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