Why Community Medicare Is the Key Source of Reduced Mortality and Morbidity
By: Ken and Speranza
What’s the role a medical student? By the term medical students, we mean Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacists, Dental, and Public Health Students etc. What is our role as students when we go back to the community during our long or short holidays? Or what is our work after employment? Is it just working in hospitals? It’s a fact that we have a big role to play in the community level. A big role that will make a commendable difference like saving a life or preventing a complication. Do we just go to the community to work in clinics? How can we extend a hand to the larger community at the grassroots level? How can we reach those who come to your clinic only when they are in end stage renal disease, stage four HIV, stage IV cancer? Could there be something we can do before it reaches such an advanced stage? We actually can make a difference in someone’s life. Not just someone but many people. If let’s say you are working at a clinic in a certain County and you notice there is a steady rise in the number of patients reporting to your clinic with diarrheal symptoms as the chief complain, would you continue offering the treatment regimen of cholera / typhoid if let’s say it’s the diagnosis? Using the bottom approach, we get to know the problem is the community environment of which the situation will continue worsening if we don’t visit the community and handle the filthy environment. That’s why we are needed extremely at the community level. The reasons list is endless.
Firstly, the role of a medical student includes community diagnosis. Community diagnosis is where you view the community as a client and identify the root problem using the bottom approach. For example, when there is a rise of patients reporting to a clinic with malaria, the definitive treatment is antimalarial. However, when using the bottom approach, we should follow them back to their homes and investigate about their environments. This helps us diagnose the ‘disease’ in the community. Presence of long reeds, stagnant water and bushes prove that the malaria disease cycle will continue affecting the community not until the breeding grounds are destroyed. After the community diagnosis has been made, we engage the society in the second phase – community intervention. What shall we do? We call for a ‘meeting’ whereby the community members plan for a date when the breeding sites shall be destroyed. That’s the principle work of a medic! You have actually saved an entire community from malaria parasites.
Secondly, the students’ medics serve as a fresh conveyer of knowledge on the safety measures or primary prevention of disease. Educating people who are at risk of various conditions e.g. the obese. For instance, one could teach a community ‘kamukunji’ or ‘Barraza’ on issues that could predispose one to hypternsion or renal disease. Organising seminars and participating in community health forums to chip in something valuable is the work of young medics. Honestly, we can do a lot in the field rather than staying in the clinic or hospitals.
The next thing is campaigning for unnatural cultural practices that hinder the lives of young girls. This includes Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which interferes with the anatomy of a female child. During such forums of campaigning for their rights, the medical students are big stakeholders in such debates since they have the knowledge on the implications it has to the girl child. Advocating on human rights for sexual violated individuals including the male child who has been neglected all along.
The other main mandate of the students’ medics towards the community is to counsel people who have long term ailments, palliative care patients, supporting patients to die peacefully as they are beside them, promotion of adherence to drugs like anti-TB, anti-malarial, ARVs and many more. This helps, motivates and gives the patient the feeling of wellness as they continue with their treatment. Making a patient adhere to a drug regimen promotes effective care and thus it helps the community in the long run.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) target medical students to take them to the community so that they can perform various tasks e.g. screening of diseases, this could be cancers or collection of blood among the community members as they help them understand the main reasons behind the collection. NGO based camps allows the students in camps identify the community members at risk of certain medical conditions and may offer professional advice on where to seek assistance from. This reduces the complications of an earlier diagnosed condition. The subject may also be advised on preventive measures so they don’t contact the disease.
To sum up, all the above duties of a medical student in a community are aimed at reducing the mortality and morbidity of individuals in the communities. It also in the long run improves the health standards of people and overall economic status of the community. A medical student is a walking bag of exploitable resources. Utilise them
Posted on November 30, 2016, in HEALTH ARTICLES and tagged clinic, community, community health, compassion, devolution, doctors, health care, kenya, MELTING ICE TOWERS, nurses, pharmacies, pharmacists, Public health. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.