Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

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Wednesday, February 20

Health Clubs

Here's a post from Alisan.  The internet was being too slow to try to figure out how to officially add her to the blog!
In addition to the FIMRC initiatives that focus around providing medical and public health services to the community, a newer initiative by FIMRC started last week  involved bringing education to students in the community through helping schools establish health clubs.  The initiative was born as a result of the current field operations manager conducting needs based surveys in the local communities.  Last week, Erin, Lynn, and I along with a FIMRC staff member visited a local school where we met with the health club advisor about the health club and the future expectations of the club.  We met with the students and discussed the various leadership roles for the club and the expectations associated with the roles.  The group then nominated and elected the organization leaders.  As a group, the students then outlined the objectives of their health club and the topics that they hoped to cover throughout the course of the school year.  The students appeared to be engaged and excited about the course of the health club.

The following week, Erin and I returned to the school in Bulobi while our fellow classmates set out to initiate similar partnerships at other schools.  Understanding that FIMRC is meant to serve a supporting role to the schools and that the presence of volunteers is not always guaranteed, we aimed to promote a model that would give the students ownership over the health club and promote sustainability.  We developed and presented a model to teach the children how to take a concept from the beginning to the development of a final product.  We outlined steps from choosing a topic to learning and educating about the topic to choosing and implementing a project related to the topic.  We demonstrated the model through role-playing by presenting the topic of handwashing for which we made a “tippy tap” handwashing station to be used at the guesthouse or clinic.  Afterwards, we had the students go through the process with a topic of their choice.  The students chose nutrition as their topic and shared their knowledge on food and nutrition.  They then decided on potentially developing a school garden as their final project.  The students were able to grasp the concept of the model as something that they could use for all of the future topics without having to depend on volunteers or FIMRC.

Lynn, along with a FIMRC Community Health Educator, visited another school in Bumwalukani.  Angela and Justin also visited a local school where they worked to establish a connection on behalf of FIMRC with the health club.  They were all met with great enthusiasm by the students and teachers who were excited to learn about methods for learning about and promoting health education with limited resources.  These relationships were founded with the help of our students and FIMRC staff and I hope to see the relationship fostered over the coming years.

On a less academic and more gross note, Lynn had to just minor surgically remove a jigger from my toe.

 - Alisan


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