Fresno Health Fair Health Care

October 18, 2009 6:46:16 PM PDT
Fresno's Manchester center was host to hundreds of Central Valley residents looking for free medical advice and testing Sunday. Services many cannot afford. Most of the people who visited Manchester center Sunday are barely getting by financially...some have recently been let go from work.

All of them have one thing in common...they have not seen a doctor in months, some...even years.

Isaiah Alvarez is your typical 13-year old. Like many teens in the Valley. He suffers from asthma. But it's been more than a year since his parents could afford to send him to a doctor. Sunday that changed.

Mother Lisa Alvarez: "If it's something free, you know it ain't gonna happen [again] do it!"

Lisa Alvarez said she dragged her whole family out to the free medical fair at Manchester center Sunday. Bills are stacking up at home and work at the local church is only part-time...so any type of medical visits are scarce.

"Your red blood cells and it carries oxygen through out your whole body," said nurse Donna.

10-year old Miracle Alvarez learned why hemoglobin is good for her body.

The Alvarez family showed up because they've had problems providing adequate health care to their children over the last year. But it was the father Frank who doctors realized his blood pressure was high and blood sugar levels were off.

Frank Alvarez: "With my diabetes I always got to keep on it because my sugar is high a lot. That's one of my biggest things."

"30% of the people who live here have no insurance," said Dr. Mohammad Ashraf.

Ashraf organized all 160 doctors, nurses and assistants who volunteered their time and medical supplies.

"These patients that we are seeing here?most have never seen a physician before and they will probably never see a physician again," said Ashraf.

That's why many of the doctors here scheduled follow up visits, free of charge. The Alvarez's said they will not miss their appointment.

325 people showed up Sunday.

Doctor Ashraf wants to host this free medical fair every three months if he can find the funding and support from fellow doctors...he says our community needs it!

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