By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer
KCC’s Health Promotion Team (HPT) of the Kapiʻolani Service & Sustainability Learning Program (KSSLP) hosted its first Health Awareness Carnival on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. About 15 booths run by service-learning students of the HPT were lined up along the Great Lawn facing ʻIlima building, hosting interactive games while promoting and bringing awareness to the various health issues that affect those living on Oʻahu.
Service-learning students set up booths focusing on health-related topics that they were interested in addressing such as obesity, nutrition and fitness, opioids, and more. First-year students Quanterria Taylor and Chatham Tully of the HPT decided to raise awareness of white blood cells at their booth. Both majoring in occupational therapy, they asked a series of questions to those who participated to see if anyone could recognize how many white blood cells are in the human body, the medical name for white blood cells, and more.
Students who correctly answered these questions got to toss a ping pong ball into a line of cups filled with clear and dark food colored water that represented the white blood cells and their nuclei. The objective was to aim for the dark-colored liquid-filled cups.
“Just learning about the white blood cells and red blood cells and what it fights against … people with HIV need to know that if their count is low, then the disease comes on stronger,” Taylor said. “But, if they keep everything at an average level, it will fight off diseases and infections.”
Taylor also shared that in part with some individuals who struggle to keep equally elevated blood levels, there is also a challenge in receiving blood donations. She and Tully are hoping that what they shared from their booth will bring a stronger understanding to individuals of how blood levels can significantly affect the human body.
The idea to host the Health Awareness Carnival was developed by Brian Nguyen after becoming the HPT leader this semester. Nguyen, who is a third-year student at UH Mānoa, took on former HPT leader Kim Gill’s thoughts on wanting to create an interactive event for the campus, which led to his decision in creating a carnival that would provide information on health issues while being incorporated into interactive games.
Nguyen is working toward making this health carnival a semesterly event for KCC’s campus, while also looking into reaching out to those in the community. With his HPT, Nguyen is hoping to visit elementary, middle, and high schools including other places such as the Susannah Wesley Community Center in Kalihi to promote health awareness. Nguyen believes that teaching children and youth in the community at a young age will instill healthy habits and new knowledge in health issues.
“I just want to bring awareness to these [health] topics and teach our students in the service learning department that they can make a change, and they can impact their community in meaningful ways,” he said.
For more information regarding the Health Awareness Carnival contact Brian Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Kapiʻolani Service & Sustainability Learning Program contact email@example.com or visit kapiolaniserve.weebly.com.