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BAPS health fair promotes healthy living

June 2010
BAPS health fair promotes healthy living

As potential patients entered the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Family Activity Center on Sunday, April 25, they found a wide range of medical professionals ready to answer their health care questions. The event was Health Fair 2010, hosted by BAPS Charities to address the community’s medical needs and educate participants on the elements of a healthy lifestyle.

Over 60 medical professionals attended the fair. These included pharmacists, dentists, nurses, physicians, and specialists in the fields of cardiology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, gynecology, and psychiatry, who provided individual consultations to over 650 patients who came to the event.

To provide better consultations based on blood analysis, blood samples were collected from participants a week in advance. On the day of the health fair, various health care professionals donated their time and expertise providing educating seminars, free personal consultations, and basic examinations.

“The average life expectancy of an Indian in 2010 is 65 years of age, which is well below the average for developed countries,” said Dr. Kashyap Patel, a physician and BAPS volunteer. “Despite economic and educational prosperity, Indians still lag in terms of dietary and lifestyle statistics.”

Due to these numbers, Dr. Patel stated, events like the fair were critical to addressing the health issues prevalent among the diaspora.

“In addition to providing medical care, our major purpose here is to educate on the impact of the Indian diet, and create awareness about exercise. We are taking a complete mind, body, soul approach,” he added.

Field experts also conducted seminars on various topics including mental health, yoga, women’s health, oral care, high cholesterol and diabetes, diet, nutrition, and fitness.

Satish Nair, a certified massage therapist, yoga instructor and Ayurveda educator, held a seminar on the importance of pranayam, or breathing exercises.

“We have the ability to heal ourselves through breathing,” said Nair, who holds weekly yoga sessions at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.

Pharmacist Ann Duke, who volunteered at the health fair, stressed the importance of participating in such events.

“It’s good for people to come here and support the community in which we live,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of health fairs and I’ve never seen one this successful. This event is a real blessing for those who participated.”

Indira Shah of Doraville, who attended the health fair with her husband, took away a very positive experience.

“Some people cannot afford health care,” she said. “These events are important, especially for those people. It is not easy to put together something of this scale and the organizers have done a wonderful job.”

According to Anand Mehta, Vice President of BAPS Charities, the most important element of the health fair was community involvement.

“At this event, we had so much expertise under one umbrella,” he said. “The volunteers, physicians and other medical professionals have done a tremendous job. Even if we directed one person in the right direction today, we have been successful.”

BAPS Charities hosted similar community health hairs at over 30 locations nationwide over the month of April, 2010.

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