Poor Dental Hygiene: A Community Problem
A problem expressed by the people of New Barili, Tampilisan, ZDN was a concern regarding the presence of dental carries or tooth decay especially on their young kids. To be honest, the actual problem of tooth decay was not identified on the 8 -day survey conducted but rather we saw a poor seeking behavior in terms of dental care and poor utilization on the dental services by the Rural health unit.
Luckily one person opened up the concern during the Focus Group Discussion done at the Community Assembly. She was hesitant at first when she opened the topic, but she actually felt better when more people were agreeing, they also saw the problem and related it to their own family and then they realized the need for the problem to be solved. The good thing is, there are actually programs and services by the government health division headed by the Municipal Health Officer, our very own Dra. MaitaLadeza and the Municipal Dentist that could actually make the solutions within reach and other NGOs willing to give a helping hand. All we have to do is the bridge the gap between the people of New Barili to the services offered by the Rural Health Unit or other NGOs. Our strategies for this would be just open the doors for them, but it is actually them who will take advantage of the services, and have better and productive life. Emphasis on teaching the correct principles of hygiene should begin at as early an age as possible. Children will follow the example set to them by their parents or care takers, so adults should lead by example.
But why is there a need for proper dental hygiene? Everybody needs this, not just the young one but EVERYBODY. Oral health means more than just an attractive smile. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. And in many cases, the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body as a whole. We god inspired from what the Municipal Dentist told us regarding the dental issues of New Barili and in Tampilisan in general. She said that people underestimate the significance dental problems. Yes people did brush their teeth at least 2 times a day, but is it the correct way of brushing? And when toothaches happen, do they consult the dentist? NO, people just tolerate the pain or end to self-medicate which is a BIG NO, NO because it doesn’t really end the decay but just eases the pain, temporarily. Or they just go to the dentist to have the tooth extracted, no more, no less. This lack of complete set of teeth can bring down the self-esteem of a growing person, especially the generations of the teenagers who just wants to belong and fit it.
Teaching the correct principles of hygiene should begin at as early an age as possible. Children will follow the example set to them by their parents or care takers, so adults should lead by example.
Geode Allan V. Diansuy
ADZU-SOM Level I
TOILET PROBLEMS “what goes around comes around”: A Community Problem
Toilets are essential component of a sustainable sanitation system. Diseases, like cholera, affects approximately 3 million people each year, can be basically prevented when successful sanitation prevents human waste from contaminating drinking water supplies. Various outbreaks have occurred and is usually fatal. Even now, many people especially in developing nations have no toilets and still resorts to open defecation.
Based on the April 2015 primary survey done by the Medical Students of ADZU-School of Medicince in Barangay New Barili, Municipality of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. Of the 175 household surveyed 95% has access to basic toilet facilities. 87% is exclusively owned, while the rest is owned and shared. 63% are water-sealed type, 20% are closed pit holes, 13% has a flush system, and the rest has an open pit or open defecation. While majority of the toilet facilities are water-sealed and considered sanitary, some residents said that they seldom used it. The issue is the effort of carrying heavy galon's of water from distant water source just to pour it on waste.
In the Barangay Assembly held in April 2015, the community decided the toilet problems as one of the top 5 prioritized health problems in the Barangay. We on our side as medical students who conducted the survey saw this as a problem. Thus we can say that we know the potentiality of the the problem identified.
On our 4-year stay in this community, together with the people, we are eager to help the community on finding a solution on how to solve this problem. It will not be that easy I tell you, but it’s worth all the effort to have a To a Better and Cleaner Future.
ADZU-SOM Level 1
The government nowadays has finally realized the role “Health” plays and the impact it brings to the country, hence, they’ve been allotting more thoughts, time, effort and budget to promote good health and provide better health services to its people. Programs such as those aiming to improve the result of health indices have been widely promoted and as much as possible are given free for everyone to avail, especially those that involves maternal and child health. Programs such as those for dental health, prenatal, immunization, deworming, for hypertension, and others are made available. But, even with all these efforts, the goal will not be achieved without the participation of the people.
Based on the survey we conducted in our community, 62% of those that we have interviewed are not aware of the availability of these health services. This is a significant number considering that in achieving good health, the people and the health service providers must cooperate with one another. However, in far flunked areas where sources of information such as the media, the televisions and the like are a luxury, it is possible that the people are naïve to the existence of health services. Some may know but are afraid to avail because they think that they have to pay for it when in fact it is free for everyone or at most pay a very low cost prize for it.
“Not knowing” is a dangerous thing as it plays a domino effect. When the people are not aware, they will deprive themselves of health services unnecessarily. It’s not that these people have poor health seeking behavior. I believe that they are actually people who are enthusiastic to improve their health status but doesn’t how without sacrificing financially. Because they “do not know” their health also starts to deteriorate. Diseases that are supposedly curable or preventable, progress and the people suffer unnecessarily. Realizing this sad truth, we acknowledged this problem and vow to do our best to work with the people and help them know and understand what was made for them.
Fatimah Efthihar Karanain
LEVEL I ADZU-SOM
One of the greatest challenges faced by New Barili, Tampilisan, ZDN and even our country now is the growing problem in environmental pollution. Several factors contribute to this problem, and one of those is the Improper Solid Waste management of the people. Hence, the formulation of the Republic Act 9003 also known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. This Act was created to increase people’s awareness on the effect of improper waste management. It revolves around Waste Characterization, Proper Waste Collection and Transfer, Waste Processing, Proper Waste Reduction at source and Recycling.
Based from our 8-day survey in Barangay New Barili, 67% of the total households do not practice proper waste segregation, and 69% do not practice proper waste disposal. During our ocular survey, tons of litters were observed in the different puroks of the barangay especially on hill sides. What is alarming is that, just below the hills is the river which is the source of their water. Our hearts got wounded by seeing this reality, and more so if this problem continuous on and on. The beautiful sceneries would be such a waste if it is to be filled with unwanted clutter of trash.
But the good thing is that this concern was also opened up by the people during the Community Assembly. Some are still unaware of the consequences of this action, but we saw in them a great deal of concern after a brief explanation. There are numbers of possible effects of this problem like an increase in number of vector and pest, thus, may increase number of vector-borne diseases and may cause financial burden if members of the family get sick. Another major effect is air, soil, and water pollution due to improper waste disposals.
There are actually many programs regarding solid waste management. The challenge on our part is more on choosing the appropriate techniques or programs suited for the location and which they can apply without additional burden. The challenge is now on everyone’s hand, and we are ready to KICK some garbage… into their correct segregated disposals!
ADZU-SOM Level 1
Hypertension is one of the most important modifiable health risk factors to a patient’s life. The e0nd of life does not occur because of hypertension alone, but by many of the extremely serious and acutely linked diseases like Myocardial Infarction, strokes and renal failures just to name some. It is a chronic concern to the health sector due to its role in the causation of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of mortality both in the Philippines and worldwide. It is one of the most common disorders that affect the human population thus posing a major population health challenge, rather than an individual one.
According to the April 2015 primary survey of Team NB, 81% of the above 40 age group population of the Barangay New Barili is hypertensive. Also, the survey reveals that hypertension is the disease with the greatest family history among the population of Barangay New Barili, with its number increased by three-folds from the other diseases identified. Based from the data gathered in the Tampilisan Municipal Health Office, the barangay has a hypertensive patient as young 30 years old, which depicts that hypertension befalls on younger and younger population as time passes. Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of Mortality in Barangay New Barili, with hypertension as its common denominator. It is also among the Top Leading Causes of Morbidity in the barangay.
During the Barangay Assembly conducted by the team on April 20, 2015, hypertension was the number one problem identified by all four (4) groups, which were formed for the purpose of a focused group discussion for community diagnosis. Annually, the Municipal Health Office spends more on hypertension treatment, representing a substantial share of its financial resources. The financial burden of hypertension will increase even further as the number of hypertensive people is projected to grow.
With this, team NB decided to direct its efforts on hypertension and consider this as the top community health problem. The major problem in achieving better control of hypertension in a community is based on the fact that hypertension is a silent asymptomatic disease. Ignorance of the general population as to the nature of elevated blood pressure, its morbid effects and the methods of maintaining its control is widespread and contributes to the large percentage of undetected and untreated hypertensive subjects in a community.
The team will use two general approaches for the primary prevention of hypertension, the individual-based interventions and population-based interventions, with the latter as the main approach. Population-based approaches focus on controlling the determinants of hypertension in the entire population. Example interventions include community-based hypertension health education and mass media campaigns to change diet and lifestyle. The main interventions will not require costly materials or resources but rather only the community’s active participation. Individual-based interventions seek to identify high-risk hypertensive individuals and to offer them pharmacologic treatment and follow-up strategies for compliance.
The team is hopeful that despite the daunting task of preventing and treating hypertension, the people of New Barili and the team, together, will persevere in making the change necessary for a healthy and empowered community.
Sitti Shalimar Tahir
ADZU-SOM Level 1
Goodbyes are always painful and difficult. But as they say, with every end comes a new beginning.
When we heard that Beryl was going to temporarily leave medical school to go with her family outside the country, all of us were just very saddened, surprised yet very happy for her; I know that they have been waiting for this for quite some time . You see, Beryl was not just another member of the group, she was our little girl. She would brighten any room with just her smile. We weren’t the only ones who noticed that. Even the people of New Barili loved her for her charming personality, her friendliness, her innocence, and most of all, her spirituality. It was hard for us to say goodbye, but we all were very happy for her and she is still and always will be part of our team.
It wasn’t long before we found out that we were going to have a new classmate. Of course, everybody in the batchwere very eager to meet her, especially us. We knew that she would probably be added to our team. And YES, we were right. Cess was the newest member of Team New Barili. We were a little worried at first, because we weren’t sure if she would also like the things that we enjoy doing.But on our first community exposure together, she proved us wrong. We shared a lot of fun and new experiences together. She taught us how to do yoga, and choreograph a kickass Dubsmash video. She has a brilliant-quick-accurate interviewing skill, knowledgeable of the Visayan dialect, and may I add that it was because of her that some of us can still fit in our jeans (best diet coach ever). On the other hand, Cess had plenty of first times with us too— she did her own laundry and she cooked a five-star crispy thin beef loaf just to mention some.
We look forward to having more fun experiences with Cess on our coming community exposures. And to Beryl, you will always be part of the team. Though we miss you, we know that you are shining brighter wherever you are and we hope to see you soon!
And again, welcome to TEAM NEW BARILI, NO BOUNDARIES, CESSJ
Level 1 ADZU-SOM
5 months passed by so swiftly and there we were again getting ready to go back to our second home, New Barili. We were excited to see the warm smiles and welcome of the wonderful people that live there, we looked forward to the stories that they had to share with us and things we often do there. So we dashed to prepare everything we think we needed for this exposure immediately after our final examination, trying to be as prepared as we could possibly be, for something one can never seem to fully be ready for, the community exposure. Another month filled of learning, experience and an opportunity to help and make a change even for that minimal amount of time.
We set out knowing that we have our work cut out for us, as we will have to visit and interview each and every household in our area, spend a lot of time encoding the gathered data per day and per purok, interpreting them and drawing possible community health problems from them which we will then have to present to the people in an assembly to see if these things are indeed problems for them. An emphasis is made on the part wherein the problems should come from them and not from us, we are just there to help/aid in the best possible way in achieving self-reliance by mean of creating a community health plans based from the identified problems – for which it should be bounded by principles reality, availability, and sustainability.
Furthermore, we each had to identify and work with families and individuals, for whom we also had to prepare health plans. And aside from that, we also had a 24 hour scheduled rotation at the RHU per individual.
Quite honestly, the mere thought of the things that needed to be accomplished scared us, but what can I say we were more focused on what we can collectively accomplish while working with the people in this barangay. We looked beyond the word “requirements” and took this new challenge as an opportunity to help and pack back to this wonder community filled with warm-hearted people. Nothing in this exposure would be easy, but then again we also know that we were in for another wonderful adventure of a lifetime in this paradise, New Barili.
Mary Midette Repolidon
ADZU-SOM Level 1