What can you find out about your health at a shopping centre?

For the students of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University, the weekend around World Health Day means big preparations for the two-day event in the Olympia shopping centre, so that they can reach as many visitors as possible with prevention at the stations. This year, around 1,500 students stopped by to see the students! Before the event, they have to train all the volunteers involved, prepare the devices, prepare materials and gifts. Systemic prevention is the foundation of solid health, and they are holding a similar event in the fall for World Diabetes Day.

19 Apr 2023

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On the weekend of 15-16 April, another annual preventive event on the occasion of World Health Day was held in the Brno shopping centre under the leadership of hundreds of students from the Faculty of Medicine of MU from the International Medical Students Association IFMSA. They prepared a total of 12 stations where visitors could check how to perform hand hygiene correctly. Thanks to the disinfection with a contrast solution, they could see if they could apply disinfectant thoroughly under a UV lamp. Glycaemia, blood pressure and body weight composition were measured, including fat percentage and BMI. The teddy bear hospital is a popular station for children, where they learn about basic anatomy through teddy bear investigations, helping to remove the fear of doctors in children. Adolescents and young adults are educated about HPV prevention and protection, including the importance of vaccination through the CoCo project, and the CoCo project works in the area of breast and testicular self-examination, teaching adults the proper procedures for self-examination. The feelings of rescuers and the basic procedures for providing the necessary pre-medical assistance to an injured person were tested at the Pro-Life station. Future embryologists informed the public about the risks of declining fertility and the factors that affect infertility. Nutritional therapists looked at health from a plate perspective and taught the public the basics of a rational diet, and also debunked pervasive myths about diet during the weekend. Oh, and because it's important to properly brush your teeth after every meal and take care of your oral health, dental students used models to teach how to properly care for your teeth, how to brush them with a toothbrush and interdental brush, and some even got to try out proper brushing under control thanks to donated toothbrushes.

During the weekend, a total of 102 MU students took turns at the stations and managed to engage around 1500 visitors, although not everyone made it to all the stations. As standard, each visitor receives a card, which they usually use to go around all the prepared activities. They get comprehensive information about their health condition and a chance to win a small prize in a raffle. At the dental students' station, you could get a toothbrush and a box of condoms from the students of the SpoluSafe project. If visitors managed to go around all the stations, they got a chance to win a sponsorship gift, if visitors went around all the stations they could win a sponsorship gift or a small package with gift items from the Faculty of Medicine of MU and Masaryk University.

Organizing such a big event is always an interesting experience. The planning has been going on since December because the local public health coordinators Nela Pelánková and Jozef Diškanec do not want to underestimate anything. Awareness events for World Health Day in the spring and World Diabetes Day in the autumn are the biggest events that IFMSA Brno organizes for the public, so even if we have some repeated collaborations, everything needs to be renewed and re-arranged. One of the organizers of the World Health Day, student Tereza Řezníčková says: "I myself have tried many things in our organizing team, starting with helping to find volunteers and preparing materials for them, communicating with sponsors or inviting important personalities from Masaryk University and the Faculty of Medicine of MU. On the spot, the organizers were surprised by the large turnout of visitors to the Olympia Shopping Centre, which was influenced by the Marianne Days taking place at the same time, as well as by the well-arranged promotions in the Šalina magazine, Krokodýl radio station and the invitation to the event shown on the morning programme Dobré ráno on Czech Television. For these reasons, the turnout was almost double compared to previous World Days!" Representatives of the faculty management - Dean Martin Repko, Vice-Deans Andrea Pokorná and Lýdie Izakovičová Hollá and Vice-Dean Lubomír Křivan - also came to see and support the students in their preventive action.

This led to a small complication when the glucose meter almost ran out of strips on the first day, so we had to buy them on Sunday morning. The volunteers examined the interested people and they gained information about their health condition and other important information about cancer prevention or gaining awareness of the correct first aid. "Speaking for myself, I can say that I am very grateful for the opportunity to help organize such an event, especially with this great organizing team. I believe that the experience gained will help me for my further development and that our efforts will help people to improve their health care," adds Tereza Řezníčková.

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