The Haile Selassie High School Health Fair 2017

hf_1‘Mission Accomplished!’ is what the organizers, sponsors, partners, volunteers, students, staff and everyone participating in the 2017 Health Fair at the Haile Selassie High School, were all saying on the evening of January 16, 2017. A student, talking about the events of the day, said smiling, ‘I am very happy that the Health Fair is at our school. It makes the students feel special….like people care about us.’

The Haile Selassie High School, was the scene lots of activity, as the students, teachers, staff and parents, opened the school gates in the morning and rallied to ensure the day would be productive and successful. Now an annual event, the Health Fair is designed to cater to the health care of the students, the staff and the citizens of the surrounding Payne Land community.

hf_2The conceptualizers Rastafari TV Network, partnered with the Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home (JAHJAH) Foundation to bring health care and complimentary services to hundreds of children and adults. JAHJAH’s mission, is ‘Partnering to improve Healthcare and Education for all those in need’. Mostly residing in South Florida, the team or health care professionals, led by Founder and CEO, Dr. Trevor Dixon, make an annual pilgrimage to Jamaica, because they recognise the importance of volunteering their services to the island’s schools, organisations and communities.

The team included, doctors, nurses, psychologists, dentists and dental assistants. The services offered included health screening, dental screening and mental health screening. Volunteer counsellors, facilitators and mentors came together to do workshops and interactive sessions, focused on health and total wellness. This was a very new and exciting experience for many students.

hf_3The very equipped ‘dental clinic’ that was set up in a classroom, saw dentists and dental assistants, registering and attending to one hundred students. The team did cleaning and extracting as well as teaching oral hygiene. The students and parents were grateful for this as they emphasized how costly dental care is and how happy they were to be getting free dental care.

Other participants at the Fair included the Marge Roper Sexual Health Agency Counselling Service that offered information and counselling on Family Planning and Family Life Education and did one on one sessions with students. Also on hand, was the Registrar General Department’s Mobile Unit that gave private consultations to attendees who mostly filled out application forms for birth certificates.

hf_4One of the highlights of the day, was when the students were called on to paint a ‘Tree of Life’ on a wall at the school. The boys and girls expressed how much they were motivated and inspired by that experience. The students were also treated to healthy vegetarian meals throughout the day, by participating individuals and restaurants.

A company from Portland, Outta Earth Processors, donated one hundred (100) Moringa Trees that will be planted along the school’s perimeter wall. The students were informed of the health benefits of Moringa. They were also given samples of Jamaican Black Castor Oil and told of its many traditional uses.

hf_5The Bob Marley Foundation is excited about coming on board this year. In response to a ‘Wish List’ presented by the CEO of Rastafari TV Network, for basic supplies needed by the school’s nurse, the Foundation committed to donating medical supplies, that would boost the daily healthcare the school could offer students and staff. The items included digital blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers and finger pulse oximeters.

The Bob Marley Foundation also donated garbage bins, a green house, a garden hose, fork and shovel to the ‘Clean Up and Green Up’ Project and the Project ‘Ecology, Agriculure and Trade (E.A.T.), that will teach participants farming and sustainable lifestyle practices. The school will be assisted to plant its own ‘kitchen garden’ that will provide organic food for the school’s canteen.

hf_6‘Never say that one day can’t make a big difference…it can and it has!’ This is what one participant said, feeling satisfied that the organisers and sponsors had fulfilled the mission and that the day’s initiatives and activities had positively impacted the lives of everyone present. ‘Great teamwork!’

The Haile Selassie High School, was gifted to the Government and people of Jamaica, when His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, visited Jamaica in April 1966.