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More than 50 AUC students volunteered at the Lion Rudy Hoeve Health and Wellness Fair last weekend, one of the largest and most widely attended health fairs in St. Maarten. AUC has held a strong presence at the annual event over the past three years and this year was no different.
 
Working in collaboration with community partners like the St. Maarten Diabetes Foundation, Positive Foundation, AIDS Foundation, Alzheimer’s Foundation, Sickle Cell Foundation, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, students screened attendees for general health (e.g., blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol) as well as more serious issues like diabetes and HIV/AIDS. They also engaged community members in conversations on how to manage wellness, develop healthy habits, and prevent illness.

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AUC student and Z-Pack member Aki Kanakis holding a fog gun typically used on trucks that spray mosquito control pesticide.

AUC’s “Z-Pack" team (a group of 11 AUC students involved in a Zika service learning and public health project) joined this year’s event and armed attendees with information and strategies to prevent mosquito breeding grounds. Such hot zones can increase the presence of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and Dengue, which are known to the island and surrounding Caribbean.

After presenting to attendees at the health fair, the Z-Pack team traveled to the St. Maarten Islamic Center to speak with members of the Muslim community about vector control and how they can work with the government to reduce mosquito-borne diseases. Last month, the group held an educational event about Zika at the center in tangent with Community Action Day.
 
The fair has proven to be more than just a community health gathering. The St. Maarten Lion’s Club uses the platform as an opportunity to survey public awareness of health and wellness, and provides a report to the St. Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor.
 
AUC is grateful to the Lions Club and to our many community partners for inviting us to join this year’s successful event. 
 

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Shannon Toher

Posted March 29, 2017 01:49 PM

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