The Trinity School of Medicine chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has been conducting a series of health fairs in communities around the island of St. Vincent. These events are specifically offering testing and preventitive education on the chronic diseases of diabetes and hypertension, both of which are on the rise in Trinity’s Caribbean home.
Most recently, AMSA held a fair on the Trinity campus itself for the medical school’s staff and their families. AMSA vice president Chelsea Smith noted, “What’s really important to us is diabetes and hypertension awareness here in St. Vincent. It’s become AMSA’s goal to fight this and what better way to start than with people that mean the most to us and support us so much in our goals?”
Assisting AMSA was Trinity’s RaWC (Recreation and Workout Club), in both gathering metrics and providing nutrition and exercise advice. Both groups working together served as yet another example of how Trinity students excel at finding ways to use their freetime to relax from their studies while also helping their adopted home and sharpening their developing clinical skills. AMSA’s president Natalie breland was quick to note, “The biggest thing, I think, when doing this [health assessments] with somebody that you don’t know is that first conversational interaction.” She added, “We are more familiar with the people here, so it’s a solid opportunity to feel comfortable conveying results.”
On the day’s goals and accomplishments, President Breland explained that with the focus on hypertension and diabetes AMSA set out to provide vital checks that could indicate or rule out these diseases. Having completed the exercise, the President Breland noted that, “About four persons turned up showing elevated blood glucose and blood pressure, and we were happy that those individuals with elevated blood pressure were ultimately just pre-hypertensive.”
AMSA members outlined a structure of follow-ups and additional resources under the close faculty supervision of Dr. Bernadette Scott. President Breland also thanked RaWC for their involvement, “Honestly, diet and exercise are such a large part of diabetes and hypertension, that being joined by our colleagues that have so thoroughly integrated that preventative lifestyle into their daily schedules was a great resource.”
AMSA will conduct upcoming clinics in nearby Kingstown. In doing so, the group members are maximizing the opportunity to effect change to the face of this diseases in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.