July 29 - August 1, 2019 | St. John's | Leroy King
The United Hands, Inc. conducted a medical mission trip over a four day period, July 29 - August 1, 2019, on Antigua at the Multi-Purpose Center in St. John's. The beautiful island of Antigua was selected based on the support of the local Seventh-day Adventist Church, the University of Southern Caribbean, Antigua Satellite Campus Distance Education Program and the Ministry of Health. The annual international mission trip health clinic has become the hallmark of United Hands' outreach endeavors. It exemplifies the official motto of the organization: "Helping those in need."
United Hands, Inc. is an American non-profit organization that has been in existence since April, 1995. Each year, healthcare and non-health care volunteers use their own funds and vacation time to travel and offer free medical, dental and eye care services to the underserved citizens of various countries around the world.
This year's mission was viewed primarily as an opportunity to screen for chronic diseases, to educate and advise on preventing the onset of chronic diseases, and how to ameliorate and even reverse these diseases by making healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices.
The United Hands team of volunteers to Antigua was the smallest in their near 25 year history with only three physicians, two dentists, one optometrist, five nurses, three optometric technicians, two health educators (including a Harvard Professor and 10 auxiliary or general volunteers). However, they worked incredibly hard and served more people than thought possible. God worked a miracle through each of them and also provided local volunteers to augment this team. The Multi-Purpose Center was provided by the government of Antigua at no charge. As a result of their wonderfulefforts, 90 citizens received dental care,190 patients received general medical services and 357 patients received eye care services.
Everyone who came for services received nutrition, fitness and healthy lifestyle counseling through the B.E.S.M.A.R.T.™ program. Christian literature and gifts were also distributed, which included health booklets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and sunglasses. The patients were then triaged and their blood sugar and blood pressure documented. Depending on their chief medical concern or screening results, they received thorough medical consultations by the United Hands' volunteer physicians or a local Antiguan physician who volunteered on each of the four days. These experienced clinicians engaged all
190 patients seen over the four days and provided practical information on making lifestyle changes to reverse chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
The dental team also educated clients on proper oral hygiene, flossing and brushing techniques. The two dentists performed numerous dental extractions, fillings and cleanings. Cosmetic dentistry (repairing chipped and/or broken teeth) and anterior root canals were also performed. There were 90 Antiguans who received these dental services and left with improved smiles and self-confidence.
Eye care patients received a thorough eye exam, dilation, refraction, screening for glaucoma and cataracts. Hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses (reading glasses and sunglasses) were given away. Over the four-day clinic event, 357 patients were screened; 206 pairs of prescription glasses were prescribed and 65 pairs of pre-made reading glasses were dispensed. Visually impairing cataracts, diabetes and elevated intro-ocular pressure (glaucoma) were also detected.
I t is interesting to note that s ixty-nine percent of the patients to the Health Clinic were females and 39 percent were males. Additionally, 66 percent of the patients were over the age of 40 years old. While the medical practitioners treated many pre-existing conditions, many cases were initially diagnosed during this clinic. Unfortunately, many previously diagnosed cases were uncontrolled due to insufficient education of the disease and and lack of knowledge of the importance of following a treatment plan. More disheartening, is the fact that those with significant visually impairing cataracts were unable to financially afford the appropriate treatment, which is surgery. It was also very sad to learn that many patients had recent eye examinations in 2019, but were unable to afford the prescription glasses.
The Health Clinic was an empowering event that positively touched the lives of those who received the free health care as well as the volunteers who provided the services. The team is looking forward to provide eye care surgeries and other services in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other departments of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in the near future.
Seventh-day Adventist Schools Receive Raspberry Pi Training
Rasberry Pi Training Session
September 1 - 6, 2019 | St. John's, Antigua | Eulalie Semper
The Seventh-day Adventist School in Antigua embarked on a project to establish a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) Centre for the new academic school year. In preparation for the S.T.E.A.M. Centre, technicians, Gajender Singh from India and Ankur Singh from the UK, visited the school to conduct training. The two technicians visited from September 1 - 6, 2019, and represented SB Components, Ltd., a specialist UK manufacturer of protective cases for single board computers and microcontroller boards. The purpose of the training was to introduce the Raspberry Pi computer to the school in preparation for the S.T.E.A.M. Centre. S.T.E.A.M. is an educational framework that brings reality into the classroom by connecting different subjects together in an interdisciplinary approach that connects the real world and the classroom.
The sessions at the Antigua and Barbuda Seventh-day Adventist School have been reported as an awesome experience. Teachers and students participated in a training seminar with the facilitators from SB Components, Ltd. Also, present at the training sessions were Seventh-day Adventist teachers from St. Kitts, Dominica and Barbados. The organizers were also happy to have a Grade 5 student and aspiring scientist, Clement Gilbert, joining them from the St. Kitts Seventh-day Adventist Primary School.
The first days of the training mainly focused on the Raspberry Pi computer and its multiple uses.
The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.
The participant's excitement about the Raspberry Pi was evident as they learnt about programming stop lights, automations for home buildings and robots. The hands on experience was so intensely engaging that the young students begged for classes to continue without breaks. On the other hand, the teachers quipped, "Not at all! We need a break."
Teachers and students from the Seventh-day Adventist schools were selected as trainees to engage in peer tutoring and teaching to support the new S.T.E.A.M. program that will be introduced shortly. The South Leeward Conference has demonstrated its continued support for school development and improvement and has significantly invested in the establishment of this S.T.E.A.M. Centre to be used in the S. D.A Secondary School and for community partnerships.
With millions of unfilled S.T.E.A.M. jobs around the world, coders, game developers, robotics engineers, and designers are in constant and growing demand. Students at the Adventist schools should be given every opportunity to become participants in a technologically advanced world.
S.T.E.A.M. is the underpinning of manufacturing, food production, health care, designing and much more. This is an exciting educational initiative and the Education Department of the South Leeward Conference will continue to seek ways to help the boys and girls in their educational institutions become global competitors in an ever changing technological world.
The Education Department is delighted to share that in January 2020 full scholarships will be offered to 20 students from the community to attend classes at the S.T.E.A.M. Centre.
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