Saturday, September 3, 2016

            The last exposure left Barangay Goin with several unfinished business on its SWM program. The barangay was able to implement the labeling of trash bins in one district alone, a plan for the community Materials Recovery Facility was underway, and health teaching on the 3 R’s had only begun.
            On return from their hiatus, the team was able to notice several new additions in the community, including one particular object that was not present before: the community’s very own MRF. True to their promise, the barangay council was able to procure materials for the construction of a sturdy and appropriate MRF.

            With the municipal-wide Clean and Green evaluation for Barangay Goin fast approaching, the community was seen to be busier than ever. Residents were seen to be cleaning their yards, the health center had its first general cleaning for its official opening on the day of the evaluation, and the elementary school faculty and students were seen to be preparing decorations for the stage where the feedback program shall be held.
            On July 22, the municipal sanitary team and other collaborated agencies visited the barangay and dispersed to the different districts to inspect each and every household.

            When the evaluation finally finished, the sanitary team, barangay officials, elementary school faculty, and Team GOINnovate convened at the elementary school covered court for the feedback program spearheaded by the overall head of Clean and Green Program, Mr. Marlon Caingcoy, and Sanitary Inspector, Mr. Ian Obina.

            Extreme praise was given to Barangay Goin for this year’s Clean and Green evaluation. The evaluators expressed their admiration for the astonishing improvement of the barangay’s sanitation practices. Although falling short in the availability of trash bins in a few households, the development in SWM was clearly noticeable and very well deserved recognition. An even greater praise was awarded to the elementary school for its impressive SWM practices, school MRF, and school vegetable garden which were organized by the school’s Grade 6 adviser, Mrs. Josephine Amora.

            In celebration of Buwan ng Wika, SWM project leaders Doc Rox and Doc Louise arranged a Tagalog role-play containing elements of SWM education for the students of the elementary school. With the help of the school principal and school SWM head, Mrs. Amora, a free afternoon was provided for the SWM play.
            Immediately following the meeting, Team GOINnovate began their preparation for the play. Props were made from simple cartolinas; drawn and colored by creative members, Leo and Nat, and cut and pieced together by the less creative yet still reliable other members. J
[pics of preparation]
            Weeks prior to the set date of the play, the team already collected and washed pieces of plastics, cans, and bottles that would serve as “basura” props.

            Members of the team also practiced for the play, delegating roles as children, trees, monster, residents, mayor, and other flexible roles, and memorizing each role’s lines.
            Though already in their twenties, the team members were nervous for their first ever role play as a group with an audience of attentive school-aged children. Finally, the day has arrived. The team performed the Filipino comic book story, Basura Monster. The roles were as follows: Basura Monster – Doc Leo, Buboy – Doc Nat, Anna – Doc Ruby, Mayor – Doc Ralph, Townspeople/Trees – Doc Apple, Doc Nikki, and Doc Louise, and Narrator – Doc Rox.

            Post-performance, the students were asked questions regarding the play: where to throw a particular type of trash, why we need to properly segregate, and who their favorite character was. (No one favored the Mayor, sadly.) The students answered correctly as expected of the school with the best SWM system in the municipality! Despite several of the lines having spontaneous adlibs, some scenes losing the appropriate number of paper dead fishes, and moments when the Basura Monster just had to breathe from his suffocating head prop, the play was an inter-section success and must have deserved an Oscar award for Best Indie Play by Barrio Doctors. (Thank you very much!)
            Due to the shortness of the play, the team had more time to spend with the students and was invited by the faculty to perform a dance exercise with the children in the covered court. Everyone obliged, and the team headed the dance in yet another stage.
            The final activity for the SWM CHP during this first exposure was the resumption of the trash bin labeling in the remaining districts. Previously, all district 5 households had their own trash bins and were appropriately labeled. This was commended by the Clean and Green Committee during the barangay evaluation.
            The placards were provided by the barangay and painted by Team GOINnovate. A total of 25 placards were painted with the labels: Malata, Di-Malata, and Recyclable. These were subsequently handed on to district 4’s councilor for distribution to households with trash bins.

            On August 19, the medical students were invited as guests to the opening of Araw ng Liloy at the Municipal Hall where the Clean and Green competition results were announced. Last year, Barangay Goin, only placed 31st among 37 barangays. After the implementation of several SWM activities, Barangay Goin rocketed to ___ place in the Clean and Green evaluation. Although not within the Top 10, this was a big achievement for the community and was definitely taken with pride. Most surprising was that Barangay Goin Elementary School was awarded for the first place of Cleanest and Greenest Elementary School in the municipality! The award was received by the school prinicipal, Mr. Victor Gamil.

            It was with great pride that Goin was recognized to have improved. Though not yet as better as the rest, we are almost certain that someday, someday it won’t just be better – it will definitely be the best.

            Last exposure, Malnutrition Community Health Plan project leaders Doc Nikki and Doc Ruby were able to spearhead a successful cooking demonstration using the team’s original recipe: Squash Patty. The idea of utilizing a nutrient-rich and obtainable ingredient for children’s healthy meals garnered several praise form the residents of Goin.
            However, several poor families are still unable to acquire certain vegetables due to unavailability of vegetable seeds. Several children are still underweight, do not receive sufficient nutrients necessary for growth, and rely heavily on rice and small pieces of dried fish for daily consumption.
The need for a source of vegetable produce for these children was brought up during a barangay council meeting. The council has generously offered a plot of land near the health center where a community garden can be made. The owner of the plot volunteered to prepare the land and till the soil.
 During a Family Development Session last August 10, Members of the Pantawid Program present were persuaded to join in the making of a community garden where vegetables can be planted and harvested thereafter for the consumption of children in the daycare center. The garden consisted of 5 plots and was divided among 5 Pantawid clusters: Clusters 1, 2, 3, 4, and IPs.
The day following the meeting, cluster members were seen bringing water cans and gardening tools. Fences were built out of bamboo around the garden plots, members of each clusters began tilling the soil and planting the seeds donated by Team GOINnovate. Various vegetable seeds were planted like, carrots, bell peppers, radishes, cabbage, tomatoes, and many others.
The dedication of the residents was astonishing. Even other clusters that lacked manpower received help from other cluster members. The planting of seeds only took less than 5 hours to complete and individual members were observed to be watering the garden in the mornings that followed. The team was able to see enthusiasm, solidarity, willpower, and commitment in the eyes of every resident then.

With the completion of the community garden came the commencement of the Feeding Program of the Daycare center on August 15. The medical team continued its collaboration with the Pantawid Program members. However, not much was done by the medical team due partly because of the impressive initiative of the 4Ps members. They, themselves have come up with groupings and schedules with regards to cooking duties and recipes.

The enthusiasm and commitment of the residents impressed the team so much that it did not take long for them to leave the residents to their own devices. Then and there, it was declared that an improvement on the children’s nutritional status would certainly be discerned at the end of 120 days and longer even after the first or second harvest of the community garden vegetables.

                 Following the posting of hataw notices all over the barangay, Team GOINnovate resumed the usual exercise routine in the barangay covered court every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. New dance routine videos were introduced. To better appeal the exercise routines for both the young and the old, simple dance routines of the latest songs were collected from the Zumba group Live, Love, Party’s YouTube channel. The whole exercise spans 40 minutes.

                Although younger participants frequented the afternoon exercise tradition, the team never lost heart and continued to invite the older generation to participate in the activity. They even added a new activity to attract participants: Volleyball. Post-exercise, the team would initiate a game of volleyball, inviting players among the older and more sports-oriented residents. This has appealed better to the residents inspiring a new routine for the program. The team has resolved to play volleyball for one hour and a half everyday with the residents to maintain a healthy workout and wholesome amity in both parties.

               On the 12th of August, the team held a general meeting of all hypertensives in the barangay. The agenda consisted of inquiring old patients regarding factors that hinder their compliance to their medications and follow-ups in the Rural Health Unit. Majority expressed issue of travel distance. Being a barangay located 13km from the municipality proper, a poor community, plus the elderly being the majority of the hypertensive population, traveling has become taxing and expensive for them.
            This issue has already been anticipated by the project leader, Doc Apple, directing her to establish an understanding with the municipal health officer. With the newly created Barangay Health Center and the availability of a public health nurse and student doctors, it has been agreed that to ensure the compliance of hypertensive patients to their medications, patients who have already consulted with Dr. Digamon, were given pink cards, and prescribed with maintenance meds would be included in the master list of hypertensive patients in the RHU and will receive their monthly supply of antihypertensive meds from the barangay’s health center. Mr. Mark Palma, the barangay’s public health nurse, will be the one to dispense the medication, while BP monitoring will be continued by the BP patrols of each district and the medical students in the health center during out-patient consultations.


             Currently, 94 residents have been identified to be hypertensives in Barnagay Goin, 13 have been recently registered in the master list, totaling 76 recorded in the community. Efforts to advocate monitoring of blood pressure and prevention of complications will continue, ensuring that all hypertensives shall be given consultation, maintenance medication, and improved compliance.


            After a long hiatus from community work due to hard concentration and on the challenges of clerkship, the GOINnovate members are finally in their 4th and final year in medical school. The ADZU-SOM community program for senior medical students has outlined 10 months of community dedication wherein the final activities of their respective CHPs must be completed prior to graduation. Along with this is individual research work as part of the student’s graduation requirement. Armed with more medical information and hands-on experience, GOINnovate is set to return to the bigger field of medical need: the rural community.
            On the 17th of July 2016, members of the team have gathered at the school campus with twice as many luggage and food rations to last long weeks away from the abundance of the city. The group consists of 8 members: Anna Rica Barre, Nathanael Sam Besares, Ralph Renon Casamayor, Roxanne Reyes, Apple Mae Roullo, Leo John Siaotong, Fatima Rubyreth Tingkahan, and Marie Louise Viray.

            During their first day, the team traveled for 5 hours from Zamboanga City to the Municipality of Liloy in Zamboanga del Norte. Miles away from home, the air became cleaner, the sky clearer, and the vicinities greener. On arrival, the team attended the barangay’s monthly general assembly. A few words were given by Doc Apple with regards to the team’s lengthy stay in the community this school year and more expected house-to-house interactions and health activities due to their individual researches and the completion of CHPs.

           The first week in the community consisted of unpacking, cleaning, courtesy calls with Mayor Bolando, Dr. Digamon (MHO), and Liloy Deputy Chief Del Rosario. The community immersion schedule and plans were discussed with them as per protocol. The team was also able to assist the barangay midwife with the deworming program of the elementary school of the barangay, to post notices around the barangay regarding the hataw/exercise routine for hypertensives and non-hypertensives alike, and to prepare the member’s individual survey tools for their researches.

        A few things were noted to be new in the barangay. During the last exposure, the barangay sentro started constructing the covered court. It only finished with the elevation of the ground structure and distribution of gravel. Now, the covered court was finally finished on January of this year. The court was smoothly cemented and court lights were mounted and functional. This was a pleasing change from the old court look as the residents could now use the court for recreational and official purposes without the discomfort of the heat, rain and dust.

        Another addition in the barangay, and perhaps the most important, is the Barangay Health Center. For years, the barangay would only do away with holding Under Five monthly weighing of Pantawid members’ children in the covered court, and residents would have to pay 15-20 pesos fare to a neighboring barangay that has a health center for immunizations, prenatal checkups, and medical consultations. The unavailability of a satellite health center in the community has produced inaccurate data on population, increased undetected and untreated medical conditions due to insufficient health information, and indifference toward medical support.

        This issue has been addressed to the council with the help of the medical students over the previous years of immersion. Fortunately, the council members actively sought assistance of the municipality and were able to procure funds enough for the establishment of the barangay’s very own health center. The health center was strategically built beside the barangay sentro. It was finally completed on the first week of July.

            The health center was opened on the second week of the team’s stay in time for the municipal-wide Clean and Green annual evaluation. Mrs. Alma Tanaleon, the midwife for Silucap, Goin, Mabuhay, and El Paraiso, and the new public health nurse, Mr. Mark Palma have committed to a once a week duty in the health center. The medical students have also decided on going to morning duties every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the health center to cater to the health needs of the residents.

          Hereon starts the first of many, many days of our 4th year community immersion.


A disease free community with a healthy environment.


Our mission is to generate empowered residents of the community with access to inter-sectoral institutions, capable of rendering effective decisions.

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