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East African San Diegans Get Health Care Screening In City Heights

Evening Edition

Aired 2/14/14 on KPBS News.

Health advocates and community activists provided health screening in City Heights on Friday for members of the East African community.

Health advocates and other community activists reached out to San Diego’s East African community in City Heights on Friday. They convened at the East African Community and Culture Center on the weekly Muslim holy day to help boost interest in preventative health care.

There were screenings for vision, blood pressure and diabetes, health insurance sign-ups, and massages.

Eric Hernandez conducted ocular scans. If he found a problem, he was quick to recommend a visit to an optometrist.

"The screening is really important, because we're not only checking for vision problems but they also check the overall health of the eyes," Hernandez said.

Amina Sheik Mohammed is one of the event organizers. She said there are thousands of East African immigrants in the central part of the city that don't have a lot of experience with preventative health care.

“Most of the time in our community, by the time that they go to the doctor, it is already too late — they do have the chronic disease. But what we’re trying to say is you can lower that number or you can also prevent for the newer people," Mohammed said.

Mohammed also said the African community suffers disproportionately from chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.

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