Howest nursing students on a medical mission to the Philippines

On July 10th, seven nursing students from Howest University of Applied Sciences embarked for the Philippines on a medical mission. The regions of Roxas (Gabriela) and Zambales (Advocates for Community Health) will be visited. Both were hit last year by supertyphoon Haiyan. On arrival, the students left for Roxas City, where they were welcomed by one of the local departments of female organization GabrielaDespite heavy losses due to typhoon Haiyan, the women reacted as soon as possible to provide first aid in their communities. This was only possible through strong embedding and years of community building.

For the participants, they have to adjust during the first days: "the past 5 days and 4 nights, we lived together with the locals of Roxas City. It was an eye opener right away. People were very welcoming and hospitable. Nevertheless, people here live in harsh conditions, very different than what I experience at home."

The schedule includes also two medical missions for the students to participate. Those missions our a lot more than just providing basic healthcare, it also is an opportunity to make people aware of dangers for their health and to stand up for their rights with the communities. The students were very happy to be given the opportunity to participate: "we helped a fantastic team of doctors and nurses. We assisted in consultations, assisted in the pharmacy, weighed adults and children, and checked the vital functions of the patients. It was a great experience that we will do again in a few days in another region."

G3W, the partner organization of Howest, supported the students with a preparatory course and a guide during their stay in the Philippines.