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Love and Light

Region 2 - Sathya Sai Health Awareness Day 2015 in Brent

This Year with an immense Grace of our Lord the health awareness day was held jointly with Brent Indian Association (BIA) and Asian Foundation for Help in the London borough of Brent on Sunday 10th of May 2015. BIA as previous years offered their whole building for the camp. This was the 18th Health Awareness day held in Brent with Voluntary Organisation raising health awareness in the local Community which has now become an annual event!

The morning in the waiting area began with some gentle flute music being played on the sound system to put everyone in a mellow mood. This was followed by the arrival of dignitaries, culminating in an official opening ceremony. The Mayors and the Councillors who attended the opening ceremony appreciated and recognised the selfless services given by all the healthcare professionals and the volunteers.

The expert medical team of Qualified Medical Professionals on behalf of SSSSO (UK) including Doctors, Dentists, Optometrists, and Nurses participated enthusiastically and offered their loving services to the people who attended. Dental and Eyes checks were done as well as Blood pressure, Blood sugar, BMI and Diabetes risk assessment. GP advices were also given by medical professionals in English, Gujarati and Hindi. Volunteers old and young worked with compassion in serving the patients.

This year surprisingly, many visitors from the Nepali communities attended the health camp from the neighbouring London Boroughs of Harrow, Ealing and Pinner with lots of interest and availed the services offered. They were also provided with Nepali translators to make them fully understand the medical advice. The patients felt the love of servers and applauded their service motto, which was reflected in the excellent feedback given by service users. We later came to know that these Nepalese had travelled from distance to take advantage of these yeoman services offered to them. Swami had indeed taken care of all their needs.

The Eye and Dental checks needed to be extended until evening as these two are the most expensive services in England. The whole team of experts and volunteers worked empathetically and welcomed the people with zest until the end of the day reflecting our beloved Swami's teachings ôService to man is service to God". 202 visitors attended and 865 consultations were made. Altogether 33 referrals were made to the NHS.

Presentations on various health topics were delivered by the experts to engage and educate patients during their waiting time. The first of the guest speakers was Dr Sabby Kant, a GP from Northwood in Middlesex, who is also a Lead GP Educator for Raised Awareness in Hillingdon. Ably assisted by his wife, Dr Kant ran an open Q&A session on Raised Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Angina, Heart Attacks, Stroke, Healthy Diet, etc. This was well received and gave detailed information to the guests in a simple and lucid manner. Where needed, explanation was also offered in a different language as well. This was followed by a brief introduction to Ms Elaine Fletcher, representative from Health Watch Brent, who was running an information desk, and collecting feedback from visitor to the Health Awareness Day. She also offered information on some subsidised services available to the elderly and infirm.

A very lively Yoga session followed, led by Mrs Joyce Power, who did her best to take the mystery out of this ancient guide to wellbeing with an ongoing PowerPoint presentation, as well as simple exercises which could be adapted for those who lacked flexibility. She picked on a couple of able assistants, and then got everyone to join in to breathing and vocal exercises.

Once they recovered from all the activities, Dental Surgeon Mr Nishma Somaia presented a talk on Oral Care, with particular emphasis on some habit forming carcinogens within the South Asian minority groups. She described the effects of such usage and explained that there was a very high probability of facial disfigurement and loss of life. Once the point got home, there was a lively and informative interchange with the audience. Again, she demonstrated versatility by talking in Gujarati,(a language familiar to most present at the time) as well.

Newly qualified GP, Dr Mahesh A Shah, was next. He has also just taken on the mantle of Clinical Lead for the SSSSO UK Region 2 Health Awareness Team. Dr Shah offered presentations on Diabetes and Blood Pressure. A lively Q&A session followed each one of his presentations. Several people recognised Dr Shah from the previous year and congratulated him upon the subject matter and quality of presentation.

Last, but not least, was a talk by Brother Keith Banfield, who had been involved in helping with the continuity of presentations during the day and had also assisted with the Yoga presentation. His talk included very sensible and simple to follow guidelines for Healthy Living, Exercise, Stress & Anger Management, Diet & Nutrition. All of this was relayed in calm and easy to follow manner.

A light lunch was prepared with love and served for the medical professionals and volunteers by the members of Sathya Sai centre of Alperton. Expression of Love through Service: This was An Offering to Our Dear Lord on 90th Year of His Advent.

Sathya Sai Centre of Alperton