In the past few months, we have successfully launched our first Health Promotion program at the floating villages near the Tonle Sap Lake. With our community partner, the three-week program focused on the combination of healthcare disciplines to create an Inter-Professional Experience. Our group comprised of nursing, speech therapy, and occupational therapy students from a university in New South Wales, Australia.
This IPE program aims to incorporate the four components necessary in providing excellent patient care: exposure, immersion, experience, and competence. GROUND Asia exposes health care students to healthcare in a communal setting by working with a local-community health care center. While the group familiarizes themselves with all the resources that community has and donates equipment and supplies to keep the clinic running in a sustainable way: they get to practice their professional skills in real world health care settings. We run this program by working very closely with the local Health officers and the local medical authority. When making clinical observations and collecting data to identify the patient’s problems and recommend solutions for each case: each student will be supervised by licensed professionals. As students benefit from this practice, they will understand the challenges that the community faces and be immersed in helping them solve their problems.
Following the first week of observations and collecting data, Health officers and villagers collaborated with our group found out that diabetes and hypertension problems are the main problems. As the town is on lake and far from town, most townsfolk lack the basic knowledge and guidelines to prevent these diseases. Drawing from this experience, the group decided that educating them about the shortcomings of their diet would help yield long-term results: therefore, the group prepared a crash course in diet and nutrition in Khmer, the local language. Besides explaining the main causes for diabetes and hypertension, the students reviewed some recommended exercises to help alleviate their pain. The group touched upon the symptoms that patients should look out for before heading to the hospital.
After the lessons were ready, we held workshops in seven villages by visiting one village each day. After each session, we also provided free blood sugar and blood pressure check-ups to all the participants at each village. In order to ensure that this project continues after our group leaves, the students also trained health officers and the village controller to increase their confidence and competence in treating diabetes and hypertension. With a total of 20 people, the training session allowed everyone to showcase their knowledge, skills, and bedside manner in a comfortable setting. Moreover, the group donated a blood pressure monitor and one blood-glucose monitor to the community clinic for villagers to use.
The local health office, village authority officers, and villagers were all really happy and appreciated the group’s help. If your university wants to join us and help a community health care clinic, feel free to contact us!
GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.