8 aspiring medical students of the University embarked on a community exposure aiming to solve the top identified problems in Tuboran, Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. Before finally taking our step in our much-awaited Clerkship or Hospital Clinical Rotation, we again travelled 6 hours (by land) to our adopted barangay—our home away from home.
This exposure, we conducted series of activities to continue to target our potential solutions in solving the health-related problems in the barangay: Lack of access to water, Malnutrition, Hypertension and Diabetes, Maternal Health, and Solid Waste Management.
BASELINE ANALYSIS: SPOT MAPPING AND WATER RISK ASSESSMENT
To solve the problem on the LACK OF ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER in the community, the group conducted 2 series of baseline analysis in the 5 puroks in the barangay for two straight exposures. Spot Mapping was done to determine the number of water sources being used by the majority on a regular basis (e.g. Tabays, communal stand posts, individual faucets at home). This was then followed by a water risk assessment on all the identified tabays or springs. Based on the checklist provided by the WHO Healthy Village guidelines, 6 out of 8 identified tabays are very high risk water sources whereas 2 are tagged as high risk water sources. These results will then be used as reference for the upcoming water analysis of the water sources.
HIGH RATE OF MALNUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OLD
As part of the objective on improving the knowledge of mothers on the nutritional status of children and to gear up with the problem on nutrition of that of the current malnourished children, the group continued the initiatives on Timbang Tuboran. Vitamins were supplemented to those who were the given Child monitoring cards during the previous exposure. To have access to the current practices of the school in its nutrition-related programs, the group also partnered with the teachers and staff in its Periodic Deworming activity which took place in January.
HYPERDIA: Hypertension and Diabetes
With the goal of not only solving the high incidence of hypertension in the community, the group was inspired to form the initiative called “HyperDia”. It is an interventional strategy to combat the problems of the two common non-communicable diseases in the barangay. . Throughout the two exposures, the group were able to diagnose hypertensive individuals adopting the PhilPEN protocol, Referred hypertensives and diabetics in the RHU and initiated the “Bantay-Suroy para sa BP (BSBP)” with training for potential BP Stop takers where each was given a set of sphygmomanometer (BP app) and stethoscope.
LOW UTILIZATION RATE OF MATERNAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN A HEALTH FACILITY BY PREGNANT WOMEN
During the recently concluded exposure, the group did a house-to-house health teaching to identify high risk pregnancies through maternal and fetal assessment. The group also proposed strategies to increase the facility-based deliveries with the midwife, nurses, and BHW to attain the goal of WIDER MATERNAL HEALTH SERVICES COVERAGE
POOR ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION RELATED TO IMPROPER WASTE MANAGEMENT
With the results obtained from last exposure’s Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS), the group came up with strategies to promote a cleaner environment for the people of Tuboran. Due to the absence of a regular collection of garbage in the barangay, the group coordinated with the Municipality Engineer to come up with a solution on the dilemma on garbage collection. The group constructed temporary Collection points per purok where the garbage are to be placed few days before the collection day. Health teaching and information dissemination were also done per purok.
Purok 1 community members with the SWM team and other members of the group.
Indeed, a month of community exposure is not enough for one to create a change. For the projects to be sustainable and fruitful, there must be continuous monitoring and evaluation of the programs and activities that we are doing to make our goals attainable. We are looking forward to our 10 months stay in the community. But for now, we are leaving this moments of joy and excitement here as we are about to embark on another journey we all have been waiting since… CLERKSHIP. Until then, we will be back again, Tuboran 🙂