Jackson County NAACP Promotes Health & Wellness - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County NAACP Promotes Health & Wellness

Moss Point resident Lora Whigham was sure to arrived early for Thursday's health forum sponsored by the NAACP. The 81-year-old wanted to check on her hearing, her blood pressure, and her blood sugar level.

"You have to get your check up. I believe in God, he is my keeper, but eat right, exercise. do whatever it takes to have a healthy body," Whigham said.

Early dedication to a healthy body is what Jackson County NAACP Chapter President Curley Clark wants to emphasis to all ages.

"You only have one life, and you need to be conscious of the things that have an impact on your life," Clark said.

Clark practices what he preaches. That's why he decided to get his own check up.

"Whenever it comes to blood pressure and things like that, especially African-Americans, we need to be conscious."

The forum also focused on testing for and education about HIV and AIDS. NAACP leaders say it's a growing problem in Jackson County.

"African-Americans represent 21 percent of the county population, but 42 percent of HIV and AIDS cases," Clark said.

Clark points to the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, which helps fund the unmet health needs of people with HIV, as a sign of hope. He hopes more federal dollars will also help prevent the spread of the deadly infection.

"This is something very important and very serious, and we want to make sure the community is aware of it."

And being aware of your body and taking action produces positive results.

"You're going to live a long life like me," Whigham said.

More than 30 different health agencies participated in Thursday's forum. Clark says the NAACP plans to hold another forum in the summer.

By Patrice Clark

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