Education for Health

TUFH 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL PAPERS: PRACTICAL ADVICE PAPER
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61--65

Socially responsible students and improved health for community-the benefits of service-learning in Pakistan


Ayub Rukhsana 
 Assistant Dean Assessment, Department of Health Professions Education, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Ayub Rukhsana
House No 17 Street 13, Sector H, DHA Phase 2, Islamabad
Pakistan

Background: In developing countries, marginalized groups of the society suffer due to inadequate health workforce, physical inaccessibility to health-care facilities and nonavailability of appropriate services. Service-learning, which combines community service with structured preparation and reflection exercises, may be used to reach such communities. Service learning electives aimed at teaching students their required coursework as well as the importance of commitment to the community, were developed. Activities: In four different projects, college students developed and delivered an educational campaign to community members. Knowledge of participants was tested pre- and post-intervention. For two projects, on-site hemoglobin (Hb) testing was provided through point of care testing before and at 8 weeks’ post-intervention. Women and children were given immediate treatment. Focus group discussion was carried out for students and participants. Outcomes: Significant improvement was seen in the sense of social responsibility of students and knowledge of community members about iron deficiency anemia in all the four campaigns. In one of the studies, the initial point-of-care testing (POCT) screening for Hb found that 52.9% of women and 46.9% of children were anemic (Hb <120 g/L). The average Hb concentration increased post-intervention both in women and children. Conclusion: More SL campaigns utilizing the huge untapped human resource in the form of the college and high school students will provide assistance to those involved in public health. These campaigns provided an opportunity to undergraduate medical students to interact with community members leading to significant learning for both students and community participants. Hb tests were conducted in the community through POCT, which enabled immediate treatment of anemia and improvement in an important health indicator.


How to cite this article:
Rukhsana A. Socially responsible students and improved health for community-the benefits of service-learning in Pakistan.Educ Health 2020;33:61-65


How to cite this URL:
Rukhsana A. Socially responsible students and improved health for community-the benefits of service-learning in Pakistan. Educ Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 25 ];33:61-65
Available from: https://www.educationforhealth.net/article.asp?issn=1357-6283;year=2020;volume=33;issue=2;spage=61;epage=65;aulast=Rukhsana;type=0