UBD medical students run health checks, profile patients in Sukang

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FIVE medical students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) recently reached out to the community in remote Sukang to provide health screening, basic life support (BLS) and gathered residents’ data.

The group targeted Sukang’s sole primary school, Datu Maharaja Setia Dian (DMSD) and a longhouse nearby which is the sultanate's last remaining Penan settlement.

The project, lead by third year Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc Medicine) student Caroline Tan Chiaw Wei, will be presented at the first ASEAN Students’ Collaborative Project and ASEAN Student Camp initiated by Universitas Indonesia later in July.

The area targeted is considered Sukang’s main hub of activity and was chosen by students based on its status as one of the most remote residential settlements in Brunei, which is normally only visited by a doctor who flies in once a month.

The closest health facility for residents is 65 kilometres away in Sg Liang, which takes at least an hour and a half to access, due to a near 15km stretch of off-road.

“The unique challenges Sukang residents face in terms meeting their healthcare needs was the reason behind why we chose it,” said Caroline. “We wanted to learn and gather data on the problems they face and address them through counseling on preventative action and raising awareness on what they should do for common illnesses.”

The group of five, assisted by four teaching staff and nine volunteers, visited Sukang on three occasions starting in March.

“There isn’t a lot of existing health data on the Sukang community, so that was one of our main intentions. We also brought questionnaires to help profile the residents,” said one of the group members Nadzirah Hakeemah Dr Zainal.

According to Universitas Indonesia, the inaugural project and camp is aimed at medicals students, who are encouraged to start thinking on ways to collaborate and contribute to their communities.

The Brunei Times