Media reports indicate that a free match-day 'health check' service has been arranged for cricket fans attending the England versus India One Day International (ODI) at the Kia Oval this Friday. This is expected to save lives through early detection of major killers such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and oral cancer.
These disorders represent a growing public health problem in the UK, and are particularly prevalent within South Asian communities.
The health promotion intervention, called Boundaries for Life, will give fans over the age of 35 a chance to undergo a free health screening process - similar to a car's annual MOT check - that will measure blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels, all key indicators relating to chronic diseases.
The checks will be of 15-20 minutes duration. Participants will also be given the opportunity to see a dentist who will perform a basic mouth screen looking for signs of mouth damage associated with potentially cancerous conditions.
All participants will be given simple healthy lifestyle advice, and where necessary, an additional referral letter to their doctor or dentist for follow up.
Fans participating in health checks at the game will also be entered into a prize draw where they will be able to win a host of England and India related cricket prizes, including a signed bat, training tops and autographed photos.
Referring to the benefits of this new initiative, Dr Chet Trivedy, clinical lead for Boundaries for Life, commented: "Given that men in their 30's and 40's are particularly poor at presenting early symptoms of diseases to their GP, and with the additional limitations on access to dental services, the availability of free health and dental checks in the relaxed atmosphere of a sporting event is a valuable resource in the early detection of killers such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and oral cancer."
The Boundaries for Life project has been devised by a small consortium of health and sports stadia professionals, with the screening service provided by a team of volunteer doctors, dentists and nurses.
Richard Gould, Chief Executive Officer of the Kia Oval said: "We are delighted to support the Boundaries for Life health checks that have been taking place over the course of our international fixtures this summer. This type of service is a fantastic way of contributing to the future health of cricket fans supporting England and India who may not normally access health services due to time constraints, and underlines our commitment to community engagement and social responsibility".
The health checks will be offered in the Ben Hollioake Learning Centre from 11 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m.
The first health check service run at the Kia Oval during the England versus Sri Lanka ODI this June proved exceptionally popular with fans. Sixty-two people were screened that day, and of them, ten percent were advised to follow up significant risk factor scores with their doctors. By Praful Kumar Singh