The AUN Public Health Club organized a Health Fair on April 16 for members of the University community.
The primary goal of the club is to spread awareness on how to stay healthy. It was founded by NES students who have a keen interest in public health and is supervised by Dr. Jennifer Tyndall, an Associate Professor in the NES program. Some of their main events have included the World Health Fair from April 7-9, 2014, and Breast Cancer Awareness Week during the last week of October in 2013 and in 2014.
The President of the Club, Marilyn Elechi, said that they decided to organize the event in order to bring health care closer to those who are either too shy to go to clinic or too busy. She said the Club organizes events every semester in order to increase awareness of the major health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and mental health issues.
This year’s health fair was organized in collaboration with the Employee Wellness Program, the AUN clinic, the SGA, Ms. Regina Mousa, and the Federal Medical Center.
At the fair, were eight stations for information on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, as well as food/water-borne diseases, stress management, and fitness. There were also opportunities for blood pressure and HIV testing, and breast cancer screening.
Dr. Olutayo Martins, a public health physician who works with the Federal Medical Center, Yola, gave a lecture on prevention, highlighting the importance of screening and early detection. She said that screening is done in order to prevent the spread of diseases and therefore reduce rate at which it becomes chronic. She listed many screening tests, including those for breast cancer, cervical cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.
Dr. Martins told the audience not to confuse screening with diagnosis. While screening is finding out if the disease is there or not, for diagnosis, it is already certain that such disease is there.
Dr. Martins also noted that not all diseases can be screened for. She gave features of a good screening test, which should be rapid and inexpensive, and the results should be the same when repeated during the same timeframe.
The take-home message that the Public Health Club tries to spread is “Early detection can save lives!”