Applied Biotechniques and Community Health is a module offered in Semester 6 of IMU’s Medical Biotechnology (MB) programme, which includes a community service project. For this year, our MB1/15 students were granted the opportunity to serve the young community (aged 8 to 11 years old) at the Talento Daycare Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The objectives of this project was to instil health awareness through the presentation of the microbiological laboratory findings to the community.
|Samples from soil, drain water, common touch areas such as door knob, racquet, shoe racks and toys were collected and brought back to IMU for further laboratory analysis. The presence of pathogenic microbes was determined using both biochemical and molecular biology methods, such as gram staining, oxidase test, coagulase test, catalase test and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).|
|The laboratory findings were presented to the children in the form of poster, talk and games. During the talk, the medical biotechnology Semester 6 students explained both positive and negative health impacts of microbes and ways to prevent microbial infections. The audience benefited from the talk and participated actively in the quiz session. On the other hand, the games planned by the medical biotechnology students have intrigued the children well and they had an enjoyable and educational session. Despite their young age, they never complain how tired they were and tried their best to achieve the goal. Before leaving, the students had the chance to mingle with the children in a stress-free environment over a light refreshment.|
Reflecting on this community service, MB student Raja Mohamad Shazimin Bin Raja Muhammad stated “The community project work has allowed me to develop my soft skills especially in the aspects of time management and communication. As a final year undergraduate student, I am usually very busy with assignments and my final year research project. The community project work has taught me how to prioritise especially when it comes to studies, assignments and community project work. I tried to create a balance for all of these by creating a to-do-list and prioritising the tasks according to their respective deadlines so that I would not miss any of them.” “In terms of communication skills, community project work helped me to communicate with different groups of people, especially the children. Communicating with children has never been easy for me. I observed how my friends communicated and interacted with the children and slowly I learnt how to communicate with them. I really enjoyed the community project work on that particular day”. While Raja Mohamad has viewed community project as a way of self-development, another MB student, Rupini reflected how the community project has helped in building up the team work among MB1/15 students. ‘The community service project has strengthened the unity within the entire class, enhancing our relationship with each other as well as our teamwork, while improving our communicative skills with the children and workers at the day care center. This project was executed in a Mandarin-speaking day care center, so I had much fun attempting to speak Mandarin and play with the children.” “The embodiment of this project was to raise awareness among children about the dangers of environmental microogranisms, and steps to having good hygiene practice. Not only did we deliver this, but my friends would agree that we ourselves realised even more the importance of such awareness and education, for us and especially, the younger generation”.
To conclude, Sim Serjay reflected that ‘This community visit was an excellent learning opportunity for us as we were asked to analyse samples that we collected ourselves and present our findings to the public. It was truly the essence of the module by allowing us to implement what we have learned in the past semesters and master the art of delivering scientific facts to the community in the simplest and most interesting ways”.
Written by: Chow Jia Yin, Raja Mohamad Shazimin bin Raja Muhammad, Rupini a/p V Krishna and Kok Yih Yih
Photos by: Farah binti Ahmad Kutubbudin