Well-known for its excellence in integrating education into the current settings, International Medical University is an established institution that serves as a key platform in shaping quality future healthcare professionals since 1992. Given such high attributes, ‘living the values’ is an integral constituent for members of this higher education institution. IMU Cares Kampung Tekir Project is pioneered by a group of enthusiastic final year students who aspire to give back to community, and to educate and empower the locals on prioritising their needs and well-being in the context of healthcare and social dilemmas. The project is currently spearheaded by our very own medical alumnus, Dr Son Wei Da in collaboration with our community partners, the Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli, Seremban District Health Office and Klinik Kesihatan Nilai. The project was successfully kick started in July 2016 under the guidance of Dr Wong Chin Hoong, who is experienced in community projects. In line with our core value of educating juniors with the concept of teamwork and establishing similar projects, the core committee members play a mentoring role to final year medical students of IMU Clinical Campus Seremban. This camaraderie is much cherished as it not only helps escalate the project but serves as a platform of professional networking. Visits are conducted from 1:30pm till 4:30pm on every second Saturday of the month. Volunteers are divided into three teams; a home visit team who is assigned to their respective zones, a triage team and a consultation team. Their tasks are rather flexible and extend from building rapport to educating the locals on elements like oral hygiene, substance addiction or diabetic foot care. Faculty members too are very much involved as they join us in empowering the locals besides overseeing the volunteers. Besides providing insight to the local community on communicable and non-communicable disease, we intend to equip them better with regards to social issues ie poor literacy rate, bullying, unemployment and poverty. This would be further explored once we have a better grasp on their strata and community dynamics, with the help of the President of Kampung Tekir, Mr Zainal @ Noel, who has been the key individual in facilitating our planning. For this to happen, more engaging activities involving all levels of community would be executed in the near future. We have Pinoki Brain Training Center who sponsored the recycle bags, T-shirts and exercise books for the children and Ausmed pharmacy Sdn Bhd who sponsored multivitamins for the villagers. We are also keen in introducing more smart partnerships as we believe it would ensure our goals are met and would expand the magnitude of our project. Civic participation therefore is crucial as it enriches and provides a holistic experience for us. It not only enables the application of classroom knowledge, but builds awareness on local culture, solidifies coaction and develops a unique perspective on the delivery of healthcare. Besides facilitating self-actualisation, it serves to escalate the quality of life of individuals through compassionate care, the prime objective of the dynamic field of medicine.
This article is written by IMU alumnus, Dr Reena Prhiya Ramasamy.