UiTM PHARMACY STUDENTS PROMOTED PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICINES MANAGEMENT TO ORANG ASLI COMMUNITY IN AN OUTREACH PROGRAM
The Society of Pharmacy Students (SOPHYS) of Universiti Teknologi MARA held its annual outreach program at an Orang Asli village in Kuala Pangsoon, Hulu Langat Selangor on 3rd and 4th of November 2018. Last year, the outreach program was held at Orang Asli village in Ulu Tamu, Selangor. This year, the event was organized in collaboration with the residents of the village, Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Cancer Council Malaysia (MAKNA). Several companies such as Printious™, Maxmara Art and Stationary, Chemical Co of Malaysia Bhd. (CCM) and Blackmores provided sponsorship for the program.
The 2-day event was aimed to provide awareness to the Orang Asli community about health especially with regards to the prevention of parasitic infections and about medicines management. Various activities such as health screening, health awareness displays, home medication review, science activities and colouring contests were held during the event.
Program director, Nur Anis Sahira said that it is imperative to reach out to the Orang Asli community to make sure that they are not being left out in terms of health awareness and promotion.
Eighty-two students and five lecturers from the Faculty of Pharmacy, UiTM participated in the event. For the students, this event provided them with valuable opportunity to engage with the community and exposed them to hands-on experience in health screening and home medication review.
The event was positively welcomed by the local residents, with more than 100 villagers taking part in various activities organized by the students. A local resident, Mr Subuh agreed that it is important for the community to be empowered in caring for their health and managing their medications. Moreover, the free basic medical check-up performed by the students provided the residents with information about their current health conditions.
The event did not only benefited the local residents but also the students by enhancing their communication skills and confidence when engaging with the public. It also fostered teamwork among the students and developed critical thinking skills and leadership in event management and organization. It is hope for more programs similar to this would be held to provide awareness about health and medicines to the Orang Asli community, thus improving their quality of life.