Toni Anne Feliciano
Last December 15, 2012, the Asian Medical Students’ Association of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Inc. (AMSA-UERM) held a health-teaching and gift giving program for the grade one pupils of Calabrian Formation School in Taytay Rizal. The program was dubbed as “Give Joy to Totoy,” as part of the Christmas celebration.
This project was headed by Catrine Jell Factor and Toni Anne Feliciano, with the Vice President for Internals, Cyndrill Almazan. To prepare for the event, the organizing committee was divided into several subcommittees – group exercise, group discussion, parents’ seminar, program and games, hygiene kit (loot bags) committee, and venue/set-up. Veronica Kaye Astudillo, Charley Matias, Khey Domingo and Kacci dela Paz led the preparations specific to each committee. Sponsors were sought to help provide the snacks and the contents of the loot bags.
The afternoon of December 15 began with a group exercise to the tune of Gangnam Style. After the exercise, health teaching on hygiene was done for both the students and the parents. The parents had a seminar-workshop on hand and oral hygiene, in order to prevent infectious diseases, particularly on correcting misconceptions and helping them observe proper hygiene more systematically. On the other hand, the students were divided into smaller groups, each of which had Ates and Kuyas who led the group discussion on how to apply proper hygiene within the day. This discussion included fixing their bed, brushing their teeth at least three times a day and maintaining properly trimmed nails.
The students enjoyed several games prepared for them such as Bahay, Baboy, Bagyo and Pass the Message, for which they received school supplies as prizes. They also took home loot bags, each with a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo, as sponsored by Unilever Philippines, and a towelette. The parents also got the same freebies. Universal Robina Corporation sponsored the snacks for the participants and the organizing committee of the event.
Hygiene, a basic health habit, is usually learned at an early age both at home and in school. It is important, therefore, to reinforce and help improve hygiene practices early on, and with the help of a child's parents. As “Give Joy to Totoy” aims to address the gap in knowledge and other issues regarding hygiene and health among the grade 1 students of Calabrian Formation School, it is also a project that provides the opportunity for AMSA members to enhance the educator role towards becoming a five-star physician.