Home Education Health Taylor’s University Taylor’s health and medical science students spearhead outreach efforts for the underprivileged
Home Education Health Taylor’s University Taylor’s health and medical science students spearhead outreach efforts for the underprivileged

Taylor’s health and medical science students spearhead outreach efforts for the underprivileged

Interprofessional education is not an alien term to the students of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of Taylor’s University, embedded directly into its own medicine, pharmacy, and biomedical science curricula.

Students from Taylor’s School of Medicine checking the blood cholesterol level of a PPR Kampung Muhibbah resident

Honing one of the three intelligences under the university’s exemplary Taylor’sphere ecosystem - practical wisdom - students from the pharmacy, medicine, and biomedical science disciplines banded together outside the classroom to give back to a community in need through a two-day outreach programme organised by the faculty at Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Kampung Muhibbah, Puchong in September.

To bring the programme to fruition, the organising committee first identified a needy community and liaised with the community leaders before planning on other aspects including target participants, activities, and resources required.

The Taylor’s academic team was led by pharmacy lecturer Hoo Yoon Fong and supported by Dr Low Bin Seng, Chew Lye Yee and Ganesh Sritheran, who are lecturers from the School of Medicine, School of Biosciences, and School of Pharmacy respectively.

A total of 52 students from the faculty volunteered and coordinated the event, delegating tasks amongst themselves such as ushering, registering, conducting health screening, and activities to engage children while their guardians were undergoing check-ups at the health screening booth.

Over two days, 125 adults and 71 children residing at PPR Kampung Muhibbah participated in comprehensive health screenings to monitor body weight, height, blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol levels. Taylor’s pharmacy and medical lecturers also provided appropriate health and medication advice and deworming medicines for children.

What first started as an internal effort initiated by members of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department at Taylor’s University escalated to involve partners from multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer Malaysia and a non-profit organisation, the University of Strathclyde Alumni Malaysia (USAM).

Pfizer Malaysia sponsored the health screening devices, disposables, and deworming medicine while USAM sponsored lunch boxes for the children on the first day. Faculty staff and students also collected funds from the public, their family, and friends to purchase grocery items to be donated to participants during the event.

“Direct impact of the programme can be seen from the health screening activity, health advice and assistance provided to the participants. More importantly, we saw the impact on the students and staff of the faculty; working together towards a common cause by complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The medical lecturer providing general health advice and the pharmacy lecturer providing medication advice provided the student real examples of why interprofessional education (IPE) is important and how multidisciplinary collaboration can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare,” said Dr Renukha Sellappans, Head of the School of Pharmacy.

Students and staff from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences led the community health and medical outreach programme

The event also created a platform for students to get to know each other beyond the classroom and at the same time cultivated their leadership, teamwork, communication, and social skills.

Dr Renukha added that the faculty hopes to organise more of these community outreach events with two aims: giving back to the community and showing the students the power of teamwork for the benefit of both patients and healthcare service providers.

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