Oral Health Education by PPIPUM
13-14th February 2016
Did you know that 90% of school children between the ages 6 to 18 in Malaysia endured dental caries and at least 95% of the adults here have caries experience? And what are the reasons that cause this situation? Many factors have contributed to the case of dental caries in the community but I think the crucial case here is that the government failed to feed the society with sufficient dental knowledge,and WE in the dental field failed to educate the people.
February 13, 2016, part of the community of Persatuan Pelajar Islam Pergigian Universiti Malaya (PPIPUM) and Persatuan Siswa Islam Perubatan Universiti Malaya(PSIPUM) set forth to embark the journey of educating the settlers of Kampung Lata Kinjang, Perak. Soon after our arrival, the opening ceremony commenced whereby the students and villagers were introduced to one another and most of the students got their foster families. Selected homes were given the opportunity to adopt 3 students each. After the opening ceremony we were given the privilege to fill our stomachs with simple but tasty food. During the break between luncheon and the organised sports activity, we had the chance to learn more about the villagers by having idle talk. Some of the villagers gave us an opportunity to tour around the waterfall in juxtaposition with the village. After the waterfalls, we further suture our bonds by having a sequence of sport games which had 3 categories namely, the children group, the adult female group and the adult male group. For the children's group, we had simple games prepared for them like "passing the water balloons" and "filling a bottle with a sponge". For the adult female group we had activities such as musical chairs and "eating a cookie off your face" and for the last group we had them play futsal. After the games, we had a short rest with dinner and tazkirah and ended the night with watching movies with the villagers.
February 15, 2016, after practising the Subuh prayer, we set up booths for registrations and both medical check ups and dental check ups. Breakfast was shortly given and later we hastily opened the booths. For the adults we had them go straight into the medical check up stations. We had four stations where the first station was to check the BMI. Blood pressure was measured at the second booth, the third check was the blood sugar level and followed by the evaluation based on their results. After the medical check up, the adults were advised to have their dental check up. After they received their chartings, they were sent to a station where they received their oral health education. As for the children, before having their medical check ups, they were taught on how to brush their teeth with proper procedures and techniques. After the event, we had our lunch and a final trip to the waterfalls. Soon after that we packed our bags and bade farewell to the residents of Kampung Lata Kinjang.
This was a great experience for both the students in honing their skills in community service and for the villagers to learn more about themselves in the aspect of health. I wish I could say that what was written above concluded in significant result. But in reality, what we could do was just as little as educating the people. True that I began this article by pin pointing that a crucial mistake in Malaysia is that the education failed to reach the borders of places as such, but need we keep in mind that it is also the people, who accept that education, that play a huge role in this.
So, whether the initiation taken by us students was a success, we do not know. However, we sincerely hope that the two-day event was able to impact the villagers to at least be more aware and conscious of their health.
Johan Ariff Lee