Last September 15, 2017, another Mothers’ Class prepared by Team New Barili was offered to the primary caretakers of each household here in barangay New Barili, our community medicine area assignment for the past 4 years – our 2nd home. It was originally intended for mothers of kids aged 0-5, but why limit the number when we can have MORE attendees; So we sent out invitations to all mother of the day care students, those who attended prenatal and immunization, hanged lots poster-invitation per purok and per sari sari store, and to almost everybody who we saw that day. Law and behold, the fruit of our labor paid of, the number of participants exceeded our expectation. Good thing we printed out extra copies of IEC materials the night prior to the event.
Since this is already our 4th mothers class, we focused on a new but straightforward campaign of the Department of Health to promote a nutritional guideline for all Filipinos, the “10 Kumainments. Witty as it may sound, now every Filipino from every walk of life can find ways to get a healthy and be nutritionally well by following very simple “kumainments” guildelines. With simple messages like “Kumain ng iba’t ibang pagkain”, “Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”, our respondents are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise regularly and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules, plus we found a Visayan translation of the 10 Kumainment thus making it easier for the residents to comprehend. IEC materials were also given with the 10 Kumainments and a sample recipe for the upcoming “Utan na Loob” cooking class. Our goal for this activity was to to promote and influence a healthy lifestyle among residents of New Barili specially to mothers or primary caretakers who prepares the meal of the family most of the time, at the same time to address the prevention of malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and etc.
The event was indeed a success, with more than 90+ attendees and counting. The event wouldn’t be made possible without the effort and insight from experts whom we consulted. Simple words of gratitude to ZCMC’s Nutritionist and Dietician Ma’am Dolly Paredes for introducing the “10 Kumainments” and lending us a copy of the “Sustansya para sa Masa” recipe cookbook during TEAM NB’s visit prior to the immersion. To Ma’am Rowena Garsula, Municipal Nutrition Coordinator for always supporting our activities especially towards a healthier and nutrition controlled New Barili. To TEAM NB for always having the drive to help the kids, mothers and dream of a healthier New Barili and to our responsents, who gave us their time in attending the Mothers Class. I hoped that the 2-hour Mothers Class influenced them towards a healthier lifestyle.
Geode Allan Diansuy
ADZU SOM Level 4
Tampilisan, a small piece of paradise in the tip of Zamboanga del Norte, it boasts of luscious greens and beautiful and warm people. It is a place with immense potentials, waiting to be discovered. No doubt, that in the next few years, it shall be one gloriously beautiful and thriving area. However, it seems that at this stage in their development, this municipality has certain things that need to be work out , things that may seem rather insignificant at this early stage in their development, but may grow dangerously out of proportions and bring about deleterious effects if unchecked and un corrected.
August 2017, was a particularly sunny day, which was a welcomed opportunity to visit the municipality’s solid waste management facility or “Sanitary Landfill” situated in barangay Farmington, however, to our surprise we were welcomed by the stench of an open dumpsite, directly placed atop a river, it was manned by personnel who were not wearing protective equipment. In addition to that, vectors were all over the place. Furthermore, the machine that was supposed to be processing biodegradable waste has been out of commission for the past ~6months, which is the reason why some of the biodegradable waste that have been collected has not been processed thus, hence, attracting more vector and parasites. Now, taking into consideration the fact that this area often experiences heavy downpours especially during the rainy seasons, which is likely to result in seepage from the waste that have been dumped in the area thus, contamination of the water directly below it. We are looking at a high probability that the dumpsite personnel and all those living in the vicinity at risk for vector borne, parasitic and communicable diseases, which may give rise in an increase in the number of people getting sick and seeking consult, which also means an increase in the economic burden already experienced by the people due to medical care. Having this in mind, along with other possible scenarios that may arise in the future, all three groups assigned in Tampilisan agreed that something should be done, now while things are still rather manageable.
At present the matter has been discussed with the community preceptor who agreed that this would take all three groups working hand in hand with the RHU and the LGU in coming up with a solution for this. We all realize that this will be a huge undertaking, nevertheless, we are all prepared to take a step forward to ensure a safe and healthy Tampilisan and we all are excited to see how things will turn out.
Mary Midette Repoldion
Adzu-SOM Level 4
The “Bayanihan sa Palikuran” Toilet Sanitation program is already in its evaluation phase. Based from the primary data gathered on October 2015, where there were 27 (20%) households identified practicing open defecation, 20 (15%) households use closed pit privy, 86 (65%) households use water-sealed toilet facility, the results of the interventions are praise-worthy.
The program was designed to use empowerment efforts rather than a total provision approach. It uses the voice of the health catalysts (the medical students) in making a difference. The strategy is to ‘make a sound’ using health promotional activities more than providing toilet bowls and constructional materials. A lot of the program’s strategies is focused on information campaign which included Day Care Kids’ Day, House to House Health Teaching, Mothers’ Class, Handwashing Day, Day Care Drawing Contest, NB Summer Camp 2k16, Toilet Recipients’ Meeting, Poster Making Contest (School Campaign), Declamation Contest (School Campaign), Mr. & Ms. Clean Earth 2016 (School Campaign), NB Bulletin board and posters. Nevertheless, the water-sealed toilet bowl provision was the center of the said program, with the prerequisite of having a septic tank prior to releasing of toilet bowls. As desired, the success of the program is through the efforts of the community people, and most importantly the barangay council through the leadership of the barangay captain. The council was the key to the success of the program where each member of the council played an important role throughout the program. The toilet request sent to the office of the provincial governor was personally pursued by our beloved barangay captain so the procurement toilet bowls were not lost to bureaucracy. The monitoring phase is personally conducted by all barangay kagawads through house-to-house ocular survey. To ensure sustainability, the evaluation phase is set to be a continuous process rather than just a one-time evaluation. And so far, results show that out of 47 households who received toilet bowls, 1 (1%) household still practices open defecation, 2 (2%) households still are not using water-sealed toilet facility. The monitoring team, named as ‘Toilet Troubleshooters”, has pledged its commitment towards ending the problem on lack of toilet sanitation and winning the battle is definitely within their reach.
Sitti Shalimar Tahir
Being soon to be doctors, we are trained to see patients on almost a daily basis. This time is no exemption, even though we are assigned in the Barangays.
This exposure, we are assigned to have a duty in the Rural Health Unit in our assigned community here in Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte. Each communiy group would have one representative per day. Thanks to our recent clerkship exposure at Zamboanga City Medical Center, We are now more confident in dealing common diseases found in the community. Hopefully we can fully utilized this skill on helping the community!
It feels nostalgic every time we think of the days when we first came to our beloved community, the barangay New Barili. We often find ourselves smiling when we talked about our past experiences and how we have evolved into real residents of the community. When we first came in, we felt like outsiders, stripping the community people their subunit health center where we first lived in for the first two exposures. We were trying hard to immerse into an organized group of people, intruding their meetings just to get acquainted to key persons as well as the residents, giving intermission numbers every time, asking help to guide us the way going to our destinations, or even just being the inexperienced house workers who find consolations from our neighbors in kinds (giving us vegetables and fruits from their backyard garden), in advices (giving cooking tips using the organic stove), and of course, in cash (that is, credit card equivalent, through the kind sari-sari store neighbors whenever we experience the drought). Thinking of all these and the people who have helped us throughout, we realized that we have been accepted by the community, just as how a new neighbor is being accepted with open arms by the neighborhood. Thankfully, our community has been really kind, active and cooperative with us. This admirable nature is what makes our community really special that it is never hard to come back to Barangay New Barili.
It has been almost a year since we were in New Barili due to our medical clerkship. After the mayhem of being clerks in the hospital everyday for the past 6 months plus (counting our duty paybacks), our preparations for the coming community exposure has never been as refreshing as ever. (What a way to start of a semester). We planned many things on top of our CHPs. Most of the planning were really focused on making our stay worthwhile and worth living in. So we held multiple meetings just to get everything as right as possible. We took some time brainstorming and really thought of our options on things like giving our Nanay Rosing the house renovation that she so deserve (we live at the 2nd floor of her house for FREE). Our budget plan may not be as liberate, but we felt that the kindness of our Nanay Rosing cannot be repayed by any cash amount so might as well give her a gift in the form of house renovation. It is a win-win situation in a way because we will also be enjoying the new ceiling of our house, replacing the old cartons and the ‘trapal’ which were supposed to help deflect the heat but unfortunately to no avail. We endured the heat from our metal roof for three consecutive exposures and at last, we have decided to make things better not just for us, but also for our beloved Nanay Rosing, the owner of the house. We also had the house installed double walling to somehow repel the most varied insects we have ever encountered, from the smallest to biggest mosquitoes and insects that we have never seen before. Other plans were the usual like the future projects, talks with key persons, solicited advices for our CHPs, groceries and canvassing of the essentials. We enjoyed planning for the 10 months stay in the community with the feeling of being real residents of the barangay.
Saying goodbye to our families and the comforts of our city lives may still be hard every time we leave for the community exposure, but it is not as difficult as before. At first it felt like it was a big sacrifice, but the sacrifice is slowly turning into glory. Part of it is maybe because we no longer feel the discomforts of the past exposures, part of it is maybe because we somehow feel fulfilled as we are close to achieving our objectives that we set in our CHPs, part of it is maybe because we are approaching nearer and nearer to our dream of becoming doctors as the days go by, but I think most of it is because we can feel that we are already helping our people (saving lives as others would say it), not only through our Community Health Plans, but also through free medical consultations, with the supervision of our MHO. These are all for the love of God and Country, the Ateneo way. Modesty aside, we feel like superheroes in our own little ways, the catalysts for change towards the Health Goals for all mankind (that is, for the community people).
Sitti Shalimar Tahir