Friday, February 23, 2024

On the road again: wellness van coming your way

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Free health checks for remote agricultural communities from touring facility.
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Dates are in place for the touring wellness van that will be doing its miles for rural health this year.

The free wellness van will be touring New Zealand from February until the end of the year, offering free health checks for those in agricultural communities.  

The van is the initiative of the Mid Canterbury-based Carr Family Foundation, which runs a variety of programmes focused on rural health and wellness, education and community support, in partnership with platinum sponsors Carrfields and gold sponsors Chemist Warehouse and Mother Earth.  

Carr Family Foundation chair Stacey McKerchar said often in rural areas, time is scarce, and doctors can be hard to access, so general checkups can be missed. This can have devastating consequences for families.

“We are committed to giving back to the agricultural communities we work in.  

“Our mobile wellness van gives us the opportunity to connect with rural people, in locations convenient to them.  

“These simple tests can highlight any issues you may not be aware of before a serious health event occurs.”

McKerchar said key dates and accessible locations have been selected for the touring wellness van, based on times of interest in the farming calendar.  

A registered nurse will be stationed in the van, assessing blood sugar levels, oxygen levels, heart rate, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and BMI.  

These tests can indicate risk factors for underlying chronic health conditions.  

All health information collected will remain confidential and a referral will be written to a GP for any issues of concern.  

Since the van commenced touring in June 2022, 399 people nationwide have had a checkup in the van. This resulted in 115 referrals being made with four of those being urgent referrals.

In the first half of the year the mobile health van will be visiting the Southern Field Days at Waimumu, Southland, on February 14 and 15; East Coast Farming Expo, Wairoa, February 21 and 22; Central Districts Field Days, Feilding, March 14 and 15; the Vintage Machinery Club, Lauriston, Mid Canterbury, on April 6; Farming Family Day at the Races, Methven Trotting Club, April 14; Te Mania Bull Sale, Cheviot, June 19; and the SIDE Conference, Lincoln, June 24 and 25.

No booking is necessary.

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