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Free health fair attracts hundreds for screenings in northeast Columbia

Hundreds of people received free health screenings Saturday as part of the 16th-annual Meeting Place Church of Greater Columbia Health Fair.

Participants were screened for illnesses like diabetes and artery conditions. They were also able to receive vaccinations, including flu shots.

Karen Johnson was among those to attend.

“I decided to come out today to see what was going on and I’m so glad I did,” Johnson said. “I was involved in a bunch of screenings today. Very educated as to the body and how to keep yourself safe.”

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s daughter Khaliah Ali was one of the event speakers and shared stories about her health journey.

“My struggle with weight has been lifelong,” Ali said. “Today, my main goal was to come out, to communicate, to hear the stories of other men and women like mine, and to pull the community together, the resources we have … and team up.”

Hundreds receive free health screenings, Black Panther tickets at Columbia Health Fair

Those who completed three health screenings were given free tickets to the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” organizers said.

Eric Freeman is the church bishop and spoke about the importance of the day.

“It creates a safe space for citizens who ordinarily would not engage preventative care to know I can go to my local community, to a local church that’s been here, this is my third decade serving here, and know that there are services provided,” Bishop Freeman said. “Everything was free, all the educational resources were free. … So, that’s what makes it so important. We brought these resources to our community.”

He added that about 1,400 people registered for the event and roughly 700 movie tickets were given out.

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