|Tawi-Tawi school nurses demonstrated proper toothbrushing to school children|
under the shade of a tree. (Photo c/o Tintin Tawasil-Sangkula)
The first visit was at Luuk Pangdan Elementary School. The school children were so enthusiastic and excited to meet us. Every nurse was assigned a topic to share and brought along with her IEC and demonstration materials for the lecture demonstration especially on proper handwashing and toothbrushing.
The Nurse-In charge Laurel S. Ailani, RN and Program Coordinator Christine T. Sangkula, RN took the chance to turn over the gardening tools and seedlings to Principal Tangkian in time for the renewed Gulayan sa Paaran Program between DAF and DepEd. The simple ceremony was done at the proposed garden of the school witnessed by pupils, teachers, nurses and some parents of Luuk Pangdan ES.
First aid was rendered to pupils found with minor skin problems and wounds thus the First Aid Kit from the region was utilized.
The transportation vehicle was courtesy of the office of Mayor Jasper Que through proper coordination made by Nurse Ging Rabulan.
The next day the group went to Karungdong ES via a motor launch which was 10-15 minutes ride from Bongao Town. The same activities were conducted plus the distribution of toothbrushes and toothpastes to Grade I pupils for the Bright Smile Bright Future (BSBF) Program of Colgate-Palmolive and DepEd. After which the group proceeded to Paniongan Group Schools which was another 10-15 motor launch ride from Karungdong ES. It was a sort of island hopping adventure for the day for a cause.
At Paniongan ES everyone was an eyewitness to the plight of school children where there were only two (2) classrooms subdivided into four (4) and two (2) classes to accommodate the pupils from grades 1-6. I just wonder how learning takes place when pupils of different grade levels sit side by side with different teachers and subject matters discussed. It’s not a multi-grade class but a separate class on the same roof. Perhaps the Barangay LGU, the School, PTCA, and DepEd have to come together and look for the possibility of constructing a decent school building to give our pupils the pride and honor of being in school and appreciate schooling.
Despite of the inadequacies facing the school, the teachers, pupils and school nurse came up with school gardens of herbal plants and veggies. It was a sight to behold. Visiting Nurses were eager to harvest the fresh Ampalaya, Okra, Bell Pepper, Alugbati, White Squash, etc to their heart’s desire. Thanks to Nurse Rose Mejia who initiated the gardening.
We went home that day not only satisfied with the foods (lunch) prepared by Karungdong ES ( Nurse Carol Tarang) and the snacks of Paniongan ES but more of an inner satisfaction knowing that in our simple little ways we made the school children, teachers and parents smile and happy with our visit.
The following day the same activities continued at Pahut ES and Hji. Biste ES. This will continue for the coming days ahead to other schools: Sea Orchid ES, Luuk Bangka ES, Hji. Yunos ES and Panglima Annao ES.
Meanwhile, other districts had their own Nutrition Month Celebration. All activities were done on the first week of July in preparation and in consideration of the Ramadhan Season by the 2nd week. However, weighing and assessment of school children will still continue.
True enough, there is always a way to make work enjoyable and achieve certain goals through unity, camaraderie, and dedication towards work amidst bad weather, long distance, risk and danger. The bottom line is if one has the passion for work nothing comes as a hindrance. Everything is possible even in the most un-soothing circumstances. Indeed, by land, by sea, by all means, Nurses are on the go! (Tinsangkula/DepEd Tawi-Tawi).