Goodwin Community Health recently received donations from both the Dover and Rochester Rotary Clubs to purchase a lead-testing machine to conduct in-house lead testing on children.
Childhood lead poisoning is still considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends public health actions be initiated. A simple blood test can prevent permanent lead poisoning damage that will last a lifetime.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The key is first to stop children from coming into contact with lead and next to test and treating children who have been poisoned by lead.
Children can be given a simple blood test to measure the level of lead in their blood. However, in 2009 the State of New Hampshire discontinued offering childhood lead testing due to budget reductions and therefore, Goodwin Community Health no longer had the ability to conduct lead testing for children in-house. When this was done in house there was a 96% compliance rate in young children being tested for lead. Then that rate dropped by about thirty percentage points.
The donation of $2,500 by the Rotary Clubs provided a McKesson Blood Lead Analyzer and Test Kit which will allow Goodwin Community Health to start doing the testing in-house again.
Participants – Matthew Sylvia, President, Rotary Club of Dover, NH, Derek Peters, President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Rochester, NH and Sarina Sim, Medical Assistant at Goodwin Community Health