Story: Lisa Swift
Pakistan Advice and Community Association hosted two successful health days in May. Many residents from the local community attended to find out about important health information.
Speaking to Chris McCartney, a health improvement worker, she explained how important it was to get the message about cancer to local people. She is currently focusing on lung, bowel and breast cancer because these are the biggest killers.
“People living in the local area are less likely to go to their doctors with symptoms but the later cancer is found, the harder it is to treat successfully. One of the messages today is about lung cancer. If people have been coughing for more than 3 weeks, they should go and tell their doctor straight away and get it checked out.”
Residents could get information about cancer screening alongside other health checks. Testing was also available for TB and Hepatitis.
Preventing illness is also an important issue and eating healthy food is one of the best ways to do that. Health Trainer Beki Dorely, was preparing fruit smoothies for people to try, so residents could get new ideas about eating five fruit and vegetables a day:
“People really love them; you can make them from frozen fruit, which are easier to keep. Eating 5-a-day can help prevent really serious illness like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, alongside keeping active.”
Gulnaz Hussain, from the Pakistan Advice Centre, explained why it was so important to have health days in Fir Vale: “There are many health inequalities in this area. People are dying younger here than in other parts of the city. We are supporting the local community and many new arrivals to get access to important health checks and the right health information