The University of Baguio employees, students, together with the Allied-Medical Science departments and organizations on Saturday (January 28, 2024) led a Free Medical and Dental Mission in the City of Baguio at Melvin Jones Grandstand, Burnham Park to provide medical services and dental check-ups to the visually impaired persons and the Baguio City constituents. This noble endeavor comes as part of the university’s 75th anniversary celebration, reflecting a commitment to fostering health and well-being in the community.
“This is part of our 75th anniversary celebration, to give back to the community. This is a themed extension program. For the January cluster, this will be our opening through Medical and Dental Mission by the allied-medical courses; School of Dentistry, School of Natural Sciences, and School of Nursing. Our February cluster, the School of Business and Administration and School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management offer livelihood programs. Then for the March Cluster, the School of Engineering and Architecture and School of Information Technology offer virtual gardening. As for the closing, it will be literacy and peace and justice by the rest of the schools.” Director of RIECO, Dr. Donnavilla Marie B. Panday said in an interview.
In a remarkable initiative aligning with Sustainable Development Goal #3 – Good Health and Well-being, #5 – Gender Equality, and #17 – Partnership for the Goals, the synergy among the University of Baguio’s Allied Medical Departments; School of Nursing, School of Dentistry, School of Natural Sciences, UB Clinic, Campus Planning and Development Office (CPDO), Security Office, Linkages Office, Research, Innovation, Extension & Community Outreach (RIECO), JCI Las Chicas del Baguio, and the Philippine Red Cross led by Dr. Ian Bandaay, together with Ms. Helen Alalag and Ms. Teresa Villanueva, underscores the power of collaboration in addressing complex healthcare challenges by holding a medical mission to serve the local community. This unprecedented alliance brings together diverse expertise, resources, and perspectives, amplifying the collective ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.
“Initially JCI has their own activities like this. When the university has invited us for an activity like this, we see this as an opportunity, to help other people. This collaboration with a bigger organization would give a greater impact.” Executive President of JCI Las Chicas del Baguio, Ms. Jessica Domasin said in an interview.
The medical and dental mission included a diverse range of services, such as Blood Donation, Laboratory Services; Random Blood Sugar and Blood Typing, Postural Assessment, and Dental Check-up; Cleaning and Fluoride Application. Additionally, this event has raised awareness about preventive healthcare measures and promoting a healthier lifestyle within the community.
The event has not only been an opportunity for medical students to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical setting but also emphasizes the university’s commitment to social responsibility. By collaborating with local healthcare professionals, the event has made a meaningful impact on the lives of those who may not have easy access to medical services.
“As a nursing student, this makes me feel overwhelmed. This initiative does not only showcase our dedication to academic excellence but also our responsibility towards the community we are part of,” says Karen Kaye Dela Peña, one of the student leaders. “By addressing healthcare needs at the grassroots level, we hope to contribute to the larger goal of ensuring good health and well-being for all, as outlined in our Sustainable Development Goals.”
During the successful medical mission, there were 104 beneficiaries who availed of the Dental Services, 179 availed of the Medical Check-up, Postural Assessment, and Laboratory Test, and there were 25 Blood Donors. A total of 308 individuals benefited from vital healthcare services, underscoring the commitment to promoting wellness and accessibility within the communities.
The medical mission serves as a testament to the university’s dedication to holistic education, integrating academic excellence with a sense of duty towards the community. As the 79 volunteers from the University of Baguio gear up for this noble endeavor, they carry with them the spirit of compassion and a commitment to making a positive change in the world of healthcare.
Written by Kathy Trocolli Alalag