Today we attended a free health fair provided for the people of Chitre. We helped the University of Panama students with registration, manual blood pressures, height and weight measurements, influenza vaccinations as well as patient education. Along with these available resources, the patients were able to visit with a doctor and, if needed, were written prescriptions. We were able to present our service learning projects on STI prevention and the Zika Virus. It was interesting to see how receptive the Panamanians were to the education we provided for them! They asked many questions about our topics, and we were able to answer them by providing brochures that we had made (in Spanish).
During our time at the health fair, the ministry of health held an inauguration of the event. It was at this time that they thanked everyone who attended the event and helped make it a success. Dr. Visovsky along with Dr. Palacios- a director at the Ministry of Health and Dr. George- program director for the University of Panama health promotion program spoke words of welcome and the importance of community health prevention programs. Following the speeches, a traditional Panamanian performance of el Diablo representing the San Juan Bautista festival was shown to us. The Panamanian nursing students also sang a song for us with one of their instructors.
Overall, we had an amazing day helping at the health fair with University of Panama students. The kindness and appreciation shown to us by the Panamanians was overwhelming and we could not have imagined a better experience!
Alexa P., Gianna C.