Prakseri Health Fair a Success in Suriname

As part of its continued efforts to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles and provide health screening services to targeted members of Suriname population, the program office of the Population Services International / Caribbean (PSI/C) organized and hosted a Prakseri? Tek Leri Health Education and Services Provision Fair on Saturday, the 26th of July, 2014 at the Hermitage Mall. The memorable 7 hours event which begun at 12 noon and ended at 7:00pm local time, attracted and benefitted a wide range of persons across Suriname.

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The main goal of the health fair was to increase the awareness of the PRAKSERI? TEK’ LERI program campaign by providing health education and services to targeted members of the public in a friendly and engaging environment. Specific objective were:- 1) To increase awareness and education on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV prevention; 2) To promote and increase the uptake of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services; 3) To reduce barriers to the use of STIs and HIV prevention methods and access to SRH services; 4) To increase awareness and provide screening services for Non Communicable Disease (NCD); and 5) Increase social support through referrals and networking.

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PSI/C was able to accomplish these objectives with the partnership and hard work of local health organizations in Suriname such as Stichting Lobi, Dermatologische Dienst, Military Hospital, Stichting Diabetes Suriname, Pink Ribbon, Hem Suriname, Suriname Men United (SMU), New Beginning Consulting and Counseling Services (NBCCS), Good Foods, Be Fit, Bureau voor Openbare Gezondheidszorg, Optiek Ninnon, Subisco, and the Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM). Over 650 persons benefitted from various health education and screening service provided during the period. The services included:- Pap smear /STIs screening, HIV Counseling and testing (HCT), Blood pressure check, Sugar and Cholesterol tests, Nutritional and weight consultation, eyes check, educational session on STIs and HIV prevention, Alcohol and Drugs, keeping fit and many more. All services were offered free of no cost as the event was supported by Staatsolie and PSI/C program donor (KFW).

There was a DJ who provided live entertainment and participants were engaged with PSI/C educational activities and questions and answers sessions with opportunity to win fantastic PRAKSERI? TEK’ LERI giveaways. Participants won free items such as PRAKSERI? TEK’ LERI Tee Shirts, Pens, Water Bottles, Stickers, Coffee Mugs, Hand bands, branded flavored condoms and discount cards for HCT and SRH services. At the event, winners of the PSI/C digicel mobile advertisement / campaign were presented with their prizes and accessed various health services at the event.

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All participants received valuable information from the PSI/C trained Behavior Change Communications (BCC) Peer Educators that helped them become aware of the many health-related issues and services available in Suriname; many received answers to questions that have pondered on their minds over the years. A lot of myths relating to STIs, HIV, pregnancy and NCDs were clarified while several sexually active persons participated in condom (male and female) demonstrations and won prizes for doing so.

The event was promoted using several media:- radio and TV interviews, press release and social media (Facebook and mobile advertisements). The event was also covered by media and more pictures from the event are available for viewing on PSI/C Suriname face book page. – TV interview on Apintie Station – Ten Minuten TV station (6:00 – 9:30 minutes) – Pictures from the event on PSI/C Suriname Facebook page.

PSI/C Suriname would like to thank all our partners and donors for their support towards this event and we look forward to working with you all in the near future. Look out for our team of educators at this year’s Coming out Week in October 2014. For more information, contact our program office via email or telephone 402690.

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