FAMU Recognizes National Health Week with Seminars

The hope is that students pay attention to their own personal health and encourage others to do the same. Those who organized this week full of seminars at FAMU thought they weren't going to get a big turnout, but to their surprise, students packed the Lee Hall Auditorium to hear lectures on occupational health and health disparities.

Students at Florida A&M University are taking concern in their health. Tuesday, health professionals were on hand to discuss issues as it relates to health in the workplace and health disparities among minorities.

Cynthia Harris of the Institute of Public Health for FAMU, says "For instance, migrant farm workers, those are primarily people of Latino decent. They are in positions where they don't have access to health care as readily as other populations do, they are exposed to pesticides as well as contaminants."

Pamela Wilkerson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says,” Some of orange and tree fruit growers, they don't like to where their eye protection equipment and they get these pits in their eyes and it causes all kinds of eye diseases."

Wilkerson says close to 137 people die every day from work-related illnesses. She says forums like this one will hopefully bridge the gap between those who have the information and those who need to hear it.

FAMU students Shante Graves and Emmanuel Inwang are both pharmacy majors. They say people should be a bit more aggressive when spreading the message of good health.

"As health professionals we tend to be really politically correct. We don't say, 'If you don't control your hypertension you're going to get this disease'. We just try to be really politically correct," says Shante.

"It's extremely important to get the information out to them in different ways so they can understand how important their health and quality of life is," adds Emmanuel.

Wilkerson, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says everyday 9,000 U.S. workers sustain disabling injuries, and nationwide 16 people die everyday from work-related injuries.

One good piece of advice Wilkerson gives is to stop by your local Health Department and pick up a health manual, which shows what equipment is used for certain jobs and how to properly us it in terms of gloves, masks and other protective gear.