Nigerian doctor Olufunso Odunukan has undergone a student integration program hosted by Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV).The Community Medicine ( COMMED), Community-Based Health Program of Tandag (CBHP – Tandag) and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur ( TRIFPSS) facilitated the internship program from February 9 to 16.
During his one week stay in the hinterlands of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, Dr. Odunukan provided medical services to the people in the surrounding communities of the ALCADEV school amidst the limitations of medical supplies. He spent his time conducting free health consultations and health educations to people in the hard-to-reach areas covered by ALCADEV services. Five communities were visited and given free health services. In the actual, reproductive health issue to these communities called much attention. Pregnant mothers and children without having been completed or even do not have pre-natal and vaccination. Family planning ,birthing facilities,dental problems and other common illnesses for children were directly encountered. Individuals of aged 50 and above were also observed of some hypertensive cases and many more health problems.
Many patients that Dr. Odunukan treated and encountered in the community rarely consult a doctor due to costly diagnostic procedures, transportation expenses and medicines. Men and women community members and leaders were very receptive during his brief and yet educational health orientation sessions to every community.
Accompanied by the staff of ALCADEV’s food security and health programs and the CBHP-Tandag, Dr. Odunukan trekked the steep terrain of the mountains of Surigao del Sur under the rain in order to reach remote communities in need of medical assistance. In some instances, habal-habal motorcycles were made available to transport the team in some areas to be visited.
Dr. Odunukan’s visit has increased the health awareness of ALCADEV’s students and of the community. At ALCADEV school, the Year III and Year IV learners enthusiastically participated in Dr Odunukan’s reproductive health workshop. Aside from being proud to be taught by a medical doctor, the learners found Dr Odunukan lessons in providing health care to the people very insightful.
Dr. Odunukan easily got along with people at any age groups in the communities. On his last night at ALCADEV, a solidarity night was celebrated as a way of thanking the good doctor. The ALCADEV students, staff and community members and leaders thanked him for the health contributions he made to lumad (indigenous peoples) communities under the MAPASU organization.
ALCADEV provides services to remote lumad communities of the province of Surigao del Sur through interrelated community development programs such as alternative education, socio-economic and health. ALCADEV is training the indigenous youth with different skills and knowledge to improve their families and communities. For almost eight years of existence, ALCADEV has developed its academic and socio-economic programs being implemented in the communities and as part of the students’ curriculum. Health component is a part of the ALCADEV’s community development curriculum being taught to its students. Dr. Odunukan’s visit leaves an indelible mark on the continuing development of ALCADEV’s comprehensive health program.