Taylor’s community initiative brings free healthcare to Kampung Teras
More than thirty students from Taylor’s University Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences (FHMS), comprising of the School of Medicine, School of Biosciences and School of Pharmacy, set out on a medical outreach project to Kampung Teras, Perak recently. The initiative was a combined effort with Taylor’s Group Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Kampung Teras is a small, marginalised community of 112 people – an approximately 15 minutes’ drive from Slim River town in Perak. The village was found to have no access to electricity and clean drinking water, relying heavily on diesel generators and solar-powered lights provided by Incitement – a grass-root social movement on a mission to spark real positive impact in the world and a partner with Taylor’s Group CSR.
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Emeritus Professor Dr. P.T. Thomas expressed that, ‘We are always looking for opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. It is the epitome of a healthcare professional. This was an opportunity for students and staff in health sciences to identify the needs of people who are at a disadvantage. We hoped that through this outreach initiative, we can make a difference in the healthcare needs for this community.’
“We were encouraged by the response of students and colleagues to provide this service, and also of the residents for taking this opportunity to assess their health. We hope to make this a sustainable initiative with our faculty,’ he said.
Their assessment began earlier this year, when lecturers Ms Peggy Hoo and Ms Chew Lye Yee learned of the lack of medical facilities and healthcare available to the villagers. On top of which, the villagers’ earnings are sufficient for daily survival only, and it was important to assess the state of their health and, if possible,for medical intervention to address their needs.
Tan Li Ying, a third year student in the Bachelor of Pharmacy programme said, ‘It was indeed an eye-opening and fruitful experience. Helping the children with their day to day needs helped me see a facet of Malaysia that we do not see every day. It helped me improve my skills learned through my course and I will definitely join a similar programme again.’
For fourth year student in the School of Medicine, Chong Min San, ‘It was my first personal encounter with the Orang Asli community. I learned a great deal from this experience and hope that the Faculty will incorporate more sessions like this for exposure for the students.’
Students and staff at Taylor’s University provided basic health screening to 81 villagers including blood pressure tests, blood glucose levels and Body Mass Index assessment, dispensing medicines with by a healthcare professional and health counselling.
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