Drugs not NCSA’s only focus


On Friday Bridgetown is often especially busy with activity, but today much of the movements served a more important purpose.

That was because the National Council of Substance Abuse held a Health Extravaganza in Jubilee Gardens. From about 9 this morning until 4 p.m. hundreds of Barbadians and tourists visited the various booths located there.

Today’s health fair was one of the activities the NCSA has planned to celebrate Drug Awareness Month, however the information disseminated did not only focus on drug use and preparation.

Branford Taitt Polyclinic and the Ministry of Health personnel joined forces to counsel and spread information on HIV and AIDS and preventive measures. They also performed free HIV/AIDS testing, with some persons utilising the rapid tests method, though the overwhelming number of people preferred the traditional test.

The Barbados Registered Nurse Association was also present and there was always a steady flow of people, both the young and old, seated and waiting to get their blood pressure monitored, cholesterol checked, blood sugar levels examined and other health checks done.

The mobile breast screening unit was on hand to preform tests; hand and foot massages were done and CARE Barbados performed condom demonstrations and HIV education.

The Barbados Drug Service partnered with the NCSA for the Drug Take Back Drive to collected unused or expired medicine for safe disposal.

NCSA’s Research Assistant, Laura-Lee Foster, was among a number of volunteers present to assist. She told Barbados TODAY that the response to the fair had been “pretty good”.

“We got the most activity around the nurses tent as well as the HIV testing but on a whole we have had quite a positive response and we are getting a lot of traffic passing through,” she said.

Later in the afternoon patrons were treated to a zumba and line dancing session with a performance by calypsonian Brian Bumba Payne. (KC)†

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