Students from the Windsor University School of Medicine have embarked upon a two month long free after school health program geared at primary-schoolers. About 17 members of the Students for Health group turned up for the first of the free weekly sessions providing health care information to the pupils of the Dr. William Connor Primary School. The doctors-in-training volunteered their time to instruct the kids on proper teeth brushing, basic hygiene, nutrition, grooming and etiquette, along with providing confidential child and parent/guardian physicals. The 5th and 6th graders were instructed in First Aid, CPR/choking relief techniques, cooking and safe food handling and preparation. According to one of the medical students, the children were separated into groups and each group received instruction on different areas of health. He said they were taught about personal hygiene, washing hands properly, proper ways to care for their teeth and more, and on the following week, the students would rotate classes so each group had the opportunity to receive instruction on all topics. The after school program lasted one hour after which some classes were treated to free pre-pasted toothbrushes. The program for the Dr. William Connor School will end March 30th.The Health Program is part of a larger endeavor that Victoria Baucom of the Community Achievers Project says she conceptualized and started. She said it began at the Basseterre High School with the University of Medicine and Health Sciences and the International University of Nursing students providing basic health exams to high-schoolers. Each Friday and Wednesday the students respectively teach dental, hygiene, nutrition and food preparation. “The Universities pick up the entire tab for these programs. They are teaching Preventive Maintenance to the children and they want to teach these vital tools to parents as well…for free of course. Many of the children suffer from poor vision, allergies, asthma, skin problems, dental problems etcetera and it interferes with their studies. I have asked parents to please take their children to the dentist or to the doctor or to a counselor to no avail. This way the child is seen at school,” Baucom said. She said it is important that the younger children be exposed to the basic hygiene practices so as to minimize health risks later in their childhood and possibly into adulthood.
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