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A patient getting checks done. - Photo by Carl Gilchrist 

Ocho Rios Indian Association hosts health fair

Carl Gilchrist, Hospitality Jamaica Writer

Known for their involvement in the tourism industry in the Ocho Rios area, the Ocho Rios Indian Association recently showed their love for the community with the 14th staging of a health fair at the Ocho Rios health centre.

The association introduced to Ocho Rios the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation, which collaborated with the Indian Association to host the health fair.

"We just came in as the team from the United States and Canada, as part of the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation in Jamaica, which is working with the Ocho Rios Indian Association, so it's a collaborative work," explained Dr Hari Conjeevaram, one of the several medical practitioners who made up the team.

The team consisted of several specialists in the areas of general medicine, paediatrics, cardiology and gastroenterology.

Another team member, Bob Singh, who lives in New York, said the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation specialises in serving people.

"We come here as brothers and sisters serving each other; we're happy to have them here, we're happy to serve them," he said of the over 400 people who turned out to get free medical care.

Marvin Nolan of Three Hills, St Mary, was very happy for the opportunity to get some free medical care as he was able to save some money. He took his children along and they all got served.

"I'm so happy for this because what I am doing now would cost me pretty much over a hundred thousand (dollars) easily," he explained.

President of the Ocho Rios Indian Association, Bobby Thakurani, said the health clinic, now in its 14th year, was a way of giving back to the community.

He, along with his wife, who is a medical doctor, were quite involved in the process, along with several others from the association. Apart from the team of medical professionals from Sathya Sai, the Cancer Society's mobile unit was present, so, too, local medical personnel to do HIV and blood sugar tests.

"We are able to get 33 mammograms done, which we paid the Cancer Society to do," Thakurani said.

"We also offered free rapid HIV tests and HbA1c tests, which usually cost $2,000 each. We offered them for free." 

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