Posted by Ravinder Manilal on Oct 08, 2018
Rotarians from Rotary Club of Highbrook and volunteers, St John staff and Pak N Save Ormiston teamed up on Saturday 6th October 2018, to deliver The Big Blood Pressure Campaign message on behalf of Stroke Foundation of New Zealand and checking the blood pressure of 265 shoppers.
Rotarians from Rotary Club of Highbrook and volunteers, St John staff and Pak N Save Ormiston teamed up on Saturday 6th October 2018, to deliver The Big Blood Pressure Campaign message on behalf of Stroke Foundation of New Zealand.
 
The purpose of the Nationwide campaign was to make people aware of the importance of having their blood pressure levels checked regularly, as if high blood pressure goes undetected this could potentially lead to a stroke or other serious illnesses. 
 
Stroke strikes around 24 New Zealanders each day – young and old.  Every year around 3,000 people are left with a lifelong disability and a further 2,500 people die after having a stroke.  The good news is stroke is largely preventable.  High blood pressure is a major cause of stroke.  Around 1 in 5 New Zealanders have high blood pressure and many do not even know it. 
 
What a beautiful Saturday morning it was. 
 
We had 4 Rotarians/Volunteers for each shift and three dedicated St John staff to carry out the blood pressure checks – Jaron, Steve and Wenkai all from the St John Howick Operational Volunteer Group. 
 
The first Rotarian shifters arrived on time at 9:30am.  Thanks to Hine and staff at Pak N Save Ormiston the table and chairs were set up and the poster promoting the event was on display.
 
The St John team of three gentleman in their impressive green St John uniforms arrived with stethoscopes around their shoulders, and they were ready for serious health business. 
 
Husband and wife team Kay and Kulvir, volunteer Amarita and Ravinder were on the morning shift until 12pm.
 
We had two Rotarians at our station to help complete forms as required by the Stroke Foundation, and two informing shoppers of what we had on offer today “FREE blood pressure checks”.  We had the store well covered with Ravinder at the front entrance door and Amarita at the exit door, so we think we managed to inform 99.9% of our shoppers what we were doing there.
 
At midday our second shift of Rotarians arrived Sarah, Swee and volunteer Syndia.   Sarah and Swee continued with the great paperwork from Kay and Kulvir, while Syndia took over from Amarita and Ravinder continued to catch shoppers as they entered the store.
 
The Nationwide campaign was from 10am to 2pm.  During the 4 hours we managed to have 265 shoppers blood pressure levels checked, and St John staff referred 5 to their GPs.  This was a fantastic effort.  I did my math and this calculates to approximately 2.7 minutes that each St John staff member spent with each shopper whose blood pressure level was checked.  That is a good amount of time per person tested, considering the mini consultation included completion of a short questionnaire, blood pressure test carried out, and then time for questions and answers.  Wow truly what an awesome effort team!
 
We were amazed and pleased to hear how many shoppers had recently had their health and blood pressure levels checked, while others were on blood pressure management medication, and some blood pressure enthusiasts who even had blood pressure monitors at home and regularly checked their blood pressure.   They all got the thumbs up.
 
We had a wonderful time talking to shoppers in our local community, and letting them know the importance of having regular health checks, after all your health is your wealth.  We received a lot of positive feedback and “thank you’ s” for what we were doing.  What a rewarding way to spend a beautiful Saturday.