Outreach programme to improve wellbeing of orang asli folk in Slim River


  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017

A group photo of volunteers from the Faculty of Health an Medical Sciences.

SOME 30 students from Taylor’s University Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS) conducted a medical outreach project at an orang asli village near Slim River.

Students from the university’s School of Medicine, School of Biosciences, and School of Pharmacy took part at the event held in Kampung Teras.

The initiative was part of the Taylor’s Education Group’s Impact corporate social responsibility initiative.

Students and staff provided basic health screening to 81 villagers including tests for blood pressure, blood glucose levels, Body Mass Index assessment, health counselling, and medicines dispensed by a healthcare professional.

The village with 112 residents, has no access to electricity and clean drinking water, and relies on diesel generators and solar powered lights provided by Incitement, a social movement, which works with Taylor’s Education Group.

Health and Medical Sciences Faculty Executive Dean Prof P.T. Thomas said they were always looking for opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives.

He said this was an important part of being a healthcare professional, and an opportunity for students and staff in to identify the needs of people who were less fortunate.

“We hope 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 have their health assessed,” he said.

The effort began earlier this year, when Taylor’s University lecturers Peggy Hoo and Chew Lye Yee learnt of the lack of medical facilities and healthcare available to the villagers.

Third-year Bachelor of Pharmacy programme student Tan Li Ying said the event was an eye-opening and fruitful experience.

She said helping the children in the village with their day-to-day needs helped her see a facet of Malaysia which not many people get to see on an everyday basis.

“It has helped me improve the skills learnt through my course, and I will definitely join a similar effort again,” Tan added.

Fourth-year School of Medicine student Chong Min San said it was his first personal encounter with an orang asli community.

“I learnt a great deal from my experience, and I hope that the faculty will incorporate more sessions like this to give students more exposure and opportunities to make a difference,” he added.

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