Patrons at the weekly Uptown Mondays event will have a twist to their party experience on Monday, March 19, when the JAHJAH (Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaican At Home) Foundation partners with Uptown Mondays founder Whitfield ‘Witty’ Henry to promote awareness for HIV, diabetes and hypertension in the dancehall community.
Dubbed ‘Healing in the Dancehall’, screening and counselling for the above-mentioned illnesses will be available to patrons free of cost on the night.
Screening is a strategy used in a population to detect a disease in individuals without signs or symptoms of that disease.
Its intention is to identify disease early, thereby allowing for earlier intervention and management in the hope of reducing mortality and persons who have the disease.
JAHJAH director, Trevor Dixon, told The WEEKEND STAR that this is not the first time they were helping Jamaicans to live healthy, but this is the first time they are targeting partygoers specifically.
“It’s a way of giving back to youths in the dancehall in general. If we came down and just set up clinics, they wouldn’t come. So we’re taking it to them on their turf,” he said.
He along with co-director Orlando Dillon believes the event will be successful.
“It’s just another medium to try and get to them. We have to make them aware somehow. I think it should do well,” said Dillon.
They said that they would appreciate the support of entertainers and the Government, as their influence will also help the success of the event. They are also seeking an ongoing partnership with the Government to undertake future projects.
Being a first-time event, they said they hope to continue the effort.
The foundation said the Jamaica AIDS Support has already committed to providing medical services at ‘Healing in the Dancehall’ initiative and they are also currently seeking help from other institutions
The JAHJAH Foundation is a non-profit, non-religious, non-partisan organization with a mission to improve the quality of life of Jamaicans living in Jamaica. The areas they aim to influence are health and education with the help of Jamaicans and ‘friends of Jamaica’.
Over the last five years, they have been donating and helping out at several hospitals islandwide.