Castries, Saint Lucia: Bus drivers on the Gros-Islet, Monchy and Grande Riviere bus routes were recently provided with an opportunity to undergo medical screening and health services following a health fair held at the Gros-Islet Bus Terminal.
Health Educator in the Bureau of Health Education, Nadiege Smith-Lambert, said it was necessary that health services were brought to the bus drivers given their busy schedules.
“The daily schedules of the drivers are hectic, and they do not have the time to access services at the Wellness Centres between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So we reached out at their workspaces which are not necessarily physical buildings, and accompanied by our healthcare practitioners, provided access to as many services as possible.”
President of the Gros-Islet Minibus Association, Danny Edward, welcomed the opportunity. He said the activity was important given that bus drivers have been falling sick over the past few years.
“As you know, minibus drivers are always on the go. We work almost 24 hours a day. The mere fact that the Ministry of Health brought this to the drivers is a gesture that the Association welcomed. It was more convenient because the services were easily accessible. This was a good initiative as it enabled us to pay attention to the small signs that can lead to early detection.”
Public Health Nursing Supervisor, Ginni Morgan-Raphael, spoke on the need for regular health screenings to ensure early detection and prevent chronic diseases.
“Health screenings are important for both males and females as they allow individuals to get to know their regular numbers because as we get older, things change. Early detection is one of the main causes for regular health screening. If you regularly see the doctor and take part in healthy activities, a screening will be able to identify if anything is wrong so that issue can be addressed in a timely manner.”
The health fair provided blood sugar and blood pressure testing, assessment of body mass index, one-on-one physician consultations, eye screenings, HIV/syphilis rapid testing, and nutrition counselling to name a few.