Updated: Nov 30, 2018
POSTED BY: MATT HIRST OCTOBER 25, 2018
BAPS Charities hosted their 17th annual Health Fair at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Irving this past Saturday, Oct. 13.
As one of 40+ locations partaking in the nationwide effort, BAPS welcomed all community members to join them for a morning of educational health information, affordable screenings and health checkups, and opportunities to chat with health care professionals and specialists. More than 390 people benefited from the care and expertise of over 60 physicians, nurses and other medical personnel.
“For me, it’s a great way to provide service to the broader community in Irving,” Dr. Yogi Patel said. “There are medical services, not just primary care, but specialty services, and the pharmacist piece as well. For me as a pharmacist, to come in and to speak with patients, or the people who really need the help who aren’t able to get it outside, is a service I really enjoy. It’s so gratifying.”
The health fair put on by BAPS Charities, an independent arm of the BAPS sect of Swaminarayan Hinduism, provided some care options and assistance for those who are financially burdened and have limited access to the healthcare system.
“I grew up in this faith, and I realized they were doing this health fair every year and they have different sections, dental, vision, cardiology consultations,” Nisha Patel, an optometrist, said. “I started helping out in the vision center, because I feel I can use my skills to help out.
“We contact different doctors to come out, different medical students, we try to get equipment from different companies, and then we provide vision screenings for patients. We do [the patients’] pressures, the doctors look in their eyes for certain things that are a big problem with our culture as a whole, like diabetes.
“They did blood work a couple weeks ago and I think more than 50 percent of the people who did blood work had elevated blood glucose levels. Hand-in-hand, people who have high sugars have a high risk for bleeding inside their eye, which is the number one cause of vision loss in the world,” Patel said. “Because our population is prone to diabetes, doing those vision screenings are helpful, although it’s not a full comprehensive exam.
“If your sugar is elevated, the blood vessels throughout your body are damaged, and inside the eyes is the only part of your body you can see your blood vessels without cutting your arm open. So we can tell, just by looking at your eye, that your sugar is not controlled.”
BAPS’s charitable involvement extends into areas such as community services, disaster relief services, and environmental services.
“BAPS Charities brings the spirit of giving faith and the spirit of serving our community,” State Representative Matt Rinaldi said.