Catherine (Cat) Willoughby
2nd V. Pres./Membership Chair:
Carolyn FoxLinks Section
Lions Club Health Screening Trailer
The SC Lions sponsor a mobile health van that travels throughout the state at the request of local Lions clubs. The clubs publicize the visit, arrange a location for the van, and provide volunteers to operate it under the supervision of SC Lions Inc.'s full-time technician. The Mobile Health Screening Van tests for intraocular pressure readings (glaucoma testing), blood pressure readings, visual acuity, and hearing. The participants of the screening recieve a written evaluation of their findings. Often this is the first time people have had these tests performed.
Goose Creek Lions Timothy Murray & Cat Willoughby
Health Statistics in South Carolina Vision impairment, hearing impairment, and high blood pressure are serious public health concerns for South Carolina. This is especially true for citizens 45 years of age and over. In 2000, nearly one in five persons over the age of 45 in South Carolina (17%, n=239,456) reported having serious vision impairment. An additional 169,000 persons in South Carolina (or 6.6%) indicate that they are unable to hear what is said in a normal conversation. The figures for both vision and hearing impairment are at or above the national average (national average is 17% for vision impairment and 6% for hearing impairment). Even more troubling, however, is that South Carolina ranks 30th in the nation in terms of the death rate from coronary heart disease and ranks last in terms of the death rate from stroke. According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence rate for high blood pressure is strongly associated with higher rates of both coronary heart disease and stroke. It is safe to say, furthermore, that the numbers of persons with any of the three public health concerns will continue to escalate as the population in South Carolina continues to get older. Already in 2002, the United States Census Bureau estimates that over half (51%, n=2,033,689) of South Carolinians are 45 years of age or older. The South Carolina Lions have long recognized the seriousness of these health concerns and the importance of early detection. Since 1974, The South Carolina Lions have provided a mobile health-screening unit making free preventative health screenings available throughout the state. Last year alone, we provided 5,493 free health screenings. For each screening a person is screened for high blood pressure, hearing impairment, vision impairment, and tested for abnormal glaucoma. The same 5,493 health screenings would have cost the people of South Carolina over $274,650.00. More significantly, nearly a third of the screenings (32.5%, n=1,852) resulted in a referral to a health specialist, saving people even more in terms of the emotional and economic costs related to their conditions. In the end, the mobile health-screening unit provides South Carolina with a time-proven and effective "first line of defense" for addressing the preventative health needs of thousands of people annually.
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