With the aim to help detect and raise awareness of common health conditions, Oldham’s 5th annual free walk-in Health Awareness Day proved a huge success with hundreds of visitors taking part in quick medical checks and testing complementary health services at the Oldham Library. Asian Lite reports
Towns top officials attended the event which was organised by Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation UK (SSSSO UK), in partnership with Oldham Council, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group. The event was a joint venture between the local council, official organisations, charity & voluntary groups together with tens of individual volunteers.
Janat Czajkowskyj senior officer of Oldham Library in her welcome address said, “This event has become a key activity for us in our annual events calendar and an established part of our library service’s wider health and wellbeing offer. Libraries have an important role to play through the provision of free access to the internet and information resources, empowering people to access, understand and use health and wellbeing information effectively. Research has shown that isolation is as bad as smoking 16 cigarettes a day and the provision of free community space is a vital part of our library’s health and wellbeing offer.”
Director of Public Health Mr Alan Higgins addressed the challenge of inequality in health in Oldham. He said “inequality in health means that between the best and worst for life is about 10 years less in North England than rest. And that’s something quite shocking. This is common across the North of England, but we shouldn’t accept this as norm. One of the ways which will make difference is by giving people more access to information.
Cllr Jean Stretton Chair of Health & Wellbeing Board said “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to come in a fairly relaxed environment to see how they can access health care, what is available to them and how best they can look after their heath.” She praised the Sai organisations volunteers and expressed for this programme to continue, looking forward to holding its 10th annual event in future.
Dr Anita Sharma a local GP and clinical director in vascular with Oldham CCG said “Heart disease and stroke are the two major killers. In Oldham we have got wide regional variations and through our priorities list we are addressing these variations. Men living in Coldhurst die 11.9 years earlier than men living in Saddleworth. That is shocking.” She stressed that similarly the women in Saddleworth are expected to live 10.9 years longer than women in Coldhurst. She said a lot has been done in this area, but there is a lot to be done. She said that events like these help to pick up illnesses in early stage that can be treated and taken care of preventing fatality.
Dr Vijay Nadella the Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Service organisation said that this organisation is inspiring individuals to do selfless service for the community all over the world. The fundamental principle of this organisation is “Love all serve all”. He said that the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation is a multi faith organisation established by Sri Sathya Sai Baba and has centres all over the world.
The Mayor Cllr Ul-Rehman in his opening address said the report on the state of health of people of Oldham given by the officials is serious and we all have to do everything we can to improve health of everyone in the borough. He praised and thanked the Sai organisation for taking initiative in this wonderful work for the community.
At this event health professionals from SSSSO UK with support from various agencies and organisations, were on hand to provide health checks including blood pressure and weight management. Other services were also on-hand to provide advice on dental hygiene, eye care and medication information. A range of complementary therapists/practitioners were available to offer advice and information on variety of treatments including homoeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and individual lifestyle evaluation. Taster sessions in Reiki and massage were on offer to visitors.
The day was full of lots of fun activities including family first aid workshops, arts & craft for children, and performance of “The Tale of The Lost Tooth”.