Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) Health Project

On Monday, July 15, a student from Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) gives a young boy an oral examination in Bambala, Kherwara Block. Using large models and poster presentations, the students taught local residents the importance of teeth brushing, hygiene, and good nutrition.  
Nine students from the KMU are working in Kherwara block this month to educate the village residents about common diseases and health best practices. The university's immersion internship program has sent medical students to ALFA Educational Society in Karawada twice in the past year. The students conduct surveys, health assessments, and workshops to improve knowledge and health, as well as provide a platform for intercultural exchange. 
The medical workshops cover the topics of malaria, AIDS, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, cholera, tuberculosis, hepatitis, oral hygiene, and hand washing. The interns conduct these workshops and health assessments for the ALFA staff and local volunteers, as well as in local households and schools in Karawada and the surrounding villages of Padela, Bambala, Barodwara, Futala, Kharidiwara, Dabachia.     By the end of the month, the KMU volunteers will have educated more than 50 families, 175 students, and 12 youth changemakers at ALFA. 
This summer, the KMU students have expanded their curriculum to include more in-depth surveys of the families they visit. By assessing their crops, income, education level, labor, and diet, the students can better understand the health conditions of the residents. They are also conducting local martial arts classes in the evenings. 
"It is so rewarding to see this program develop," says Cheng Ting Wu, a a third-year KMU student volunteer returning for his third time at ALFA, "each year we discover nuances that affect local health, and develop deeper relationships with the local volunteers; their motivation inspires me to work harder and learn more from the people here."
A special thanks to Sim-Sim Nursing Foundation and the Taiwan  Liver Research Foundation for making this collaboration possible.