Giving Back

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Saturday, March 19, 2011 with No comments
Earlier I had the opportunity of joining two of my friends conduct an outreach program by way of a free clinic, giving pro-bono medical check-up, a fasting blood sugar test and blood pressure reading. I was with a medical doctor and a medical representative, and the makeshift, three-hour clinic was put up near a pharmacy, the nationwide drugstore my friends are affiliated with, and the patients became the patrons who just happened to be at the right place and time. My task was as the blood pressure taker as I am in no position to prescribe medicines nor it is within my scope to administer an FBS (but judging at how the little machine was operated, it was easy, but still the sight of blood makes me cringe!). Sure enough, after a few minutes of setting up the clinic, we became busy as a beaver.

It feels great to give back to the community even if during those three hours I was just the blood pressure taker. Of course, I could not offer my physical therapy services in such a setting and referrals are needed, too, from physicians to plan and implement a physical therapy management. It is funny to note that some Filipinos, when they see a BP apparatus from someone who they believe knows how to operate one, willingly offer up their arms to check if their pressure is within normal limits; some even do so out of curiosity. I’ve had otherwise young and active individuals have their BP taken and almost always getting the 120/80 mmHg reading, but there were a few whose pressure was beyond the norm. My med rep friend even took the FSB of a seemingly healthy young man only to have the results skyrocket from the acceptable range of 80 to 120 mg/dL, a whopping 284! It is in moments like this that an outreach activity like this becomes all-too-important.

Giving back to the community may not be carried out by just three persons who put up a makeshift clinic in front of a pharmacy to give free medical services. It could be initiated by a single person who aims to educate the youth even with a classroom on wheels, or by someone acting as creditors for the marginalized family to micro-finance a business, however, miniscule it is in its nature. By individuals who dedicate their lives to fight and uphold the rights of women and children, of the otherwise under-represented, the oppressed, the voiceless. It could take the form a community helping another community or a country giving out whatever resources it could, either monetary or its human resources, in times of dire needs, as is the case of the recent Japanese great quake and tsunami. Or it could just be a medical doctor giving pro-bono services, or a med rep who went out of her way to offer FBS tests, or by a physical therapist turned three-hour BP reader. However small the deed, to the individuals who just learned that his blood sugar level is abnormal or the young man whose BP reading was 160/100, it may have meant something more.