MAMSA Local Mission Trip 2017 – Kudat, Sabah
On the 4th of December 2017, five MAMSA members went for a short volunteering/placement in Kudat, Sabah for 5 days. The trip was organized by our Training and Development department.
Kudat is a small town in Sabah. It is located 3 hours away from the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu and has a population of roughly 29,000.
The aim of this trip was to meet up with the villagers and children in the rural village and to learn about healthcare in rural Malaysia.
There were two aspects to this trip: meeting villagers and clinical placement.
To meet the villagers, we first had to ask for permission from the ‘chief’ of the village, also known as Penghulu in the Malay language. After he gave us a warm welcome, we set out to meet the other villagers. It was a challenge for a few members who haven’t used the Malay language for a while but things worked out pretty well in the end. The villagers were really thankful for the vitamins that we gave out. They were also really friendly and interested in the studies that we do.
BEACH DAY WITH CHILDREN
A beach day with the children from the village was also organized. The MAMSA members had to organize a fun beach day for the 30 children who came that day. Of course, being medical students; we also had to put our own medical spin into it.
When the children gathered, we started off with hand hygiene. It was an interactive session where the children learnt about when to wash their hands, why it’s important and the 7 steps of handwashing. We are proud to say that they all managed to demonstrate it at the end without our guidance.
Of course, we couldn’t keep the children’s attention by just handwashing. We also played fun games. The first game we played was called ‘nelayan dan ikan’ where children basically had to run from one line to another without being caught by the people in the middle.
Following that, we taught them about the food pyramid. Thankfully, we had a couple of amazing artists in our group who could draw food to help us break down the language barrier. We drew a pyramid in the sand and passed around pictures of food to let the children decide which tier of the pyramid it belongs to.
We followed that segment with an ‘organs in the body’ segment where we taught them about the name of the organs in both Malay and English, its simple function and its locations in the body.
We ended with another game of three-legged-racing.
At the end of the day, we gave out vitamins to all the children.
We thought that the event went well and the children also said that they had fun!
CLINIC PLACEMENT IN PEJABAT KESIHATAN KLINIK KUDAT
We ended the trip with a short placement at Pejabat Kesihatan Klinik Kudat (PKKK).
The doctor in charged first gave us a presentation about healthcare at Kudat. We learnt that in contrast to Australia, their problems arose more from infectious diseases like malaria, dengue and TB. Additionally, they faced challenges like lack of electricity or water in certain areas, difficulty reaching patients due to long distances and high patient to doctor ratio just to list a few.
At PKKK, we each did placement with the Maternal and Child Clinic Doctors, the pharmacist and the dietitian. We were all exposed to very different medical systems and it was definitely a great learning experience.
Thank You, Kudat! Til we meet again:)