Young doctors’ health message

Students from the University of Central Lancashire copied the Lancashire Health Mela idea and transported it to Benghazi in Libya.

The ‘Health Mela’ was originated and developed in Preston and the UCLan students were inspired by its ethos of bringing together a wealth of health-related information, free health checks for the local community and the opportunity to meet health professionals for advice in a relaxed environment.

The students, from UCLan’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme, decided to see if they could mirror its success abroad.

Eight of them travelled to Benghazi and with the backing of counterparts at the Libyan Medical International University and Libyan Arab University 35 medical student volunteers took part in the first-ever Libyan Health Mela.

It was a big hit with over 250 locals receiving health advice and checks for from blood pressure, BMI measurements to analysis of blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The day-long event also included short lectures from local hospital nutritionists, while educational videos were available to heighten public awareness of health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

UCLan’s Sanad Elrishe, a third year student and one of the organisers, said: “Once we carried out our health checks we ran one-to-one sessions with attendees, using their health data to provide lifestyle advice tips. The event was a total success and we’ve received some fantastic feedback.”

Sanad, who is from Libya, added: “As trainee doctors we have all gained so much from this experience. “