In view of a healthy community, one of the common yet unrecognized problems in the community is toilet sanitation. As long as there is a place to excrete their wastes, people would often disregard the need to have sustained toilet sanitation.
During the house-to-house interview, the group had the chance to inspect toilets of each household. The result showed that some of the households have their own toilets; others share with other families while a few would just dig holes on the ground and cover the dirt with soil. Some have toilet bowls while others none. A few has septic tanks whereas most has none. Others use soap and water for cleansing but there are still few who only use water.
Though community people do not perceive this as a major health problem, it is still a major, major health problem because of the Domino Effect it may bring. Problem in toilet sanitation provides access to water pollution that may affect drinking source of the community. Soon after, infected water will be a cause to different gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.
For this, the ADZU-SOM students in Barangay Molos decided to put an action to this dilemma. It may not be evident at present but clearly, this may impose threat to the community and the community people. Together with the community people, problem will be able to addressed and sustained.
ADZU SOM students; doctors for the people, doctors molded by God. Eight student doctors, one community, one heart,one goal, and one with the people. WE ARE FROM MOLOS FAMILY!
On the second week of April we started our house to house survey together with the barangay officials assigned to their designated purok. This activity was our time to witness and experience the life of the people for a moment. Our first day was filled with excitement, we woke up at 5am and started walking at 6am. But as we walked through rough roads, to rivers, to cliffs, forest we all silently wondered how far we have to go still as we walked under the heat of the sun. Some of us were full of energy but then as we progresses with our work little by little we got quieter. All of us were tired and no one wanted to talk anymore for we don't have that much energy. We reserved it for our walking battle. But the greatest achievement we all had were the relationships we built with the people we met as we conducted the survey. They welcomed us into their homes smiling and sent us off with gratitude and concern for the long walk back to our house. We would also get offered food and buko juice before they let us go our way and more often than not we went home bringing all sorts of fruits. So although it was a tiring experience, all our efforts, time, sweat, muscle aches were all worth it.
Our survey lasted for a week from 6am to 8pm just to get the chance to interview each household. We savor the moments that we had while we were yet able to. Every night we share our difficulties interviewing people using Bisiya words and laugh about it. Instead of "ma'am gakaon mo ug utan?" (Ma'am do you eat vegetables?) one of us said "ma'am gakaon mo ug butan?". We treasure the bond that we built within our group as we did our house to house survey. And we were so blessed as student doctors that we got to encounter different people of different ages and life experiences. It was a great transition of our lives. We are thankful for the school for their vision to reach people and the community to raise their selves in matter of health care. Though we had different perspective, different difficulties, different approach of building relationship at the end of the day the victory was ours.
During our community exposure, we participated in conducting papsmear in one barangay. It was my 1st time and it was a great experience. Days before the actual activity, Doc Maita gave us flashcards so we would be able to recognize a lesion when we apply the VIA (or in this case, we used Del Monte vinegar). Yes, we used the Del Monte Vinegar as VIA and applied it to the cervix. I'll never look at Del Monte vinegar the same way again. Anyway, the flashcards were a good thing because at the time of the event, it was easier for me to recognize whether there was a lesion or not. On the day of the activity, very few women signed up for papsmear. There were probably about 10 or more of my fellow medical students who were there with me. We each had one try. Majority of the women who went in were VIA negative. Lucky for me, I saw what a cervix with an actual lesion look like. (Not lucky for the girl though) I'm grateful that I've had this great learning experience. Although it was just one try, it was still a really good opportunity to learn.