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Love and Light

Region 2 - Health Awareness Clinic in Hayes

Over 200 members of the public took advantage of a free health awareness clinic, held at the Botwell Leisure Centre in Hayes, on a very cold November day. This event was organised by Hillingdon Community Health, part of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation UK.

Organised as part of the Sri Sathya Sai Preventative Healthcare Initiative, it was held at the same location for the second time this year and allowed people from all walks of life including young children and the elderly, as well as those from different ethnic backgrounds to receive a general health check, without making any appointments or requiring any referrals.

The walk-in clinic provides a basic health check including blood pressure monitoring, blood glucose testing, Bone Mass Index, Diabetic risk assessment, dental and eye check, advice on diet and exercise as well as the opportunity to talk to a GP. Two hundred and two visitors were seen and of those, there were 98 females and 96 males with ages ranging between 4 to 78 yrs. A total of 649 health checks were made.

About 30 feedback comments were received and all were positive in confirming the usefulness and effectiveness of this event in health promotion.

One visitor who came to the leisure centre to use the swimming facilities told the evaluation team that he thought the service was ‘very good’. The 47 year old said, “This type of clinic should definitely be made more widely available and I can’t put into words how valuable such an initiative is.”

Hendon resident ‘PG’ said she decided to get a health check because she had been feeling dizzy over the last few days. The 64-year old said, “I had come to use the gym and feel relieved and good that I’ve had this check done. I’d have liked other members of family to have taken advantage of it too.”

Volunteer Jessica Blanchard, a recently qualified dentist who has previously contributed to Sai health camps in Africa said, “The principal dentist at my practice is a Sai devotee and told me about this. I love doing things like this and think it’s really important to give back to the local community and use our skills for that purpose.” She added that services like these are appreciated by members of the public because it gives them access to health care professionals in a non-clinical setting and without them having to make an appointment. She said, “A lot of people I have seen today weren’t aware that they are entitled to free dental healthcare on the NHS. So as well as providing dental advice on site, we are signposting them to local NHS services and correcting a lot of misconceptions which will ultimately benefit their health.”

Jessica was one of eighteen health care volunteers and together with sixteen general volunteers from across region 2 of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation UK, they joined forces with other charitable organisations such as Bowel Cancer UK and Rethink as well as Smoking Cessation, Healthy Eating and Chlamydia testing to make the initiative possible.

"Let all people live happily, in good health and cheer." It desired that no one should experience suffering or misery in this world. Health is the English term for Aarogyam in Sanskrith. The word health is derived from the Latin word "Healy." Aarogyam has several meanings. One is sacredness. Another is Paripuurnam (Wholeness). The term thus indicates that all the organs of the body should be perfect and holy. If any organ is afflicted, the body cannot be said to be Whole. Hence men should aim at achieving perfect health and help others to do so. (Sathya Sai Speaks vol 28).