More than 500 undergo Rotary health checks

Members of the public receive health screenings at Saturday's islandwide checks, hosted by Rotary Central.

A free islandwide health screening hosted by Rotary Central on Saturday led to 538 people undergoing the checks, dozens of whom were found to have undiagnosed conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Seven of those who undertook the tests were referred to the hospital emergency room for immediate treatment, said Zelta Gayle, Rotary’s health initiative chairperson.

“Despite screening less than last year [610], it was astonishing to note that this year reaped a significantly higher number of abnormal results,” Ms. Gayle said.

She said important post-screening follow-up telephone calls were being made to individuals who showed high blood pressure or blood sugar results.

The annual screenings, carried out this year at seven supermarkets and hardware stores, aim to target individuals who may not regularly visit a doctor or who have never undergone a blood pressure or blood sugar test.

At this year’s screenings, 37 were found to have previously undiagnosed high blood sugar levels, and 71 had previously undiagnosed high blood pressure levels. Also, 28 people were discovered to have uncontrolled diabetes and 46 had uncontrolled hypertension.

Of those who underwent the screenings, 322 were found to have normal blood pressure or normal blood sugar levels.

According to Rotary Central, over the past years, more than 7,000 have received free health screenings, many of whom have been referred to the emergency room because of the severity of their previously undiagnosed conditions; or to their general practitioners for more thorough investigations and treatment of their newly-diagnosed chronic illnesses.

Because there is an on-site physician available for consultations at the free screenings, serious conditions besides highly elevated blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels also have been identified. These include conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia (low heart rate) and deep vein thrombosis.

“The event would not have been a success over the past eight years without the dedicated partnership of the staff of the Health Services Authority and the establishments who host the event,” Ms. Gayle said.

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