WE MIGHT be constrained by the measures involved in implementing the quarantine but we do find ways to connect through technology. It is interesting to note that many of us, regardless of socio economic status or age, readily adapted to this new way of connecting with our peers or, in the case of journalists, reaching out to sources of news.
Yesterday, the Philippine Press Institute organized a webinar with the Medicins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders which otherwise would have been difficult to convene using the traditional face to face mode of doing seminars.
One of the speakers was a graduate of the University of Mindanao who is now based in Sierra Leon and doing fine work as ICU nurse at the hospital’s pediatrics department. Jerwin Capuras, a scholar of the Minority Care International, worked for a couple of years at the Southern Philippines Medical Center after passing the nursing licensure exam, before working with an international health NGO in Bangladesh and then later, at the Doctors Without Borders.
Capuras said Sierra Leon has a high child mortality rate. This resonates with the Mindanao situation where we also did not reach the UN millennium development goal in curbing child mortality. He said there are several social factors, regional location and access to basic health services that serve as roadblocks to health. Strengthening early detection and management of childhood diseases and improving health infrastructure like training community health workers contribute to the decreasing cases of child morbidity. These steps are being done, too, in our country.
For the COVID pandemic, he said they are mostly helping in ensuring health and sanitation, and working on having a 24/7 water supply and electricity.
Stigma, the lack of protective equipment and the difficulty in social distancing due to cultural practices are also happening in Sierra Leon. But we would have only known these information second hand if we were not able to access technology that enabled us to widen our reach of resource persons.
This pandemic has shown us the importance of technology to better understand what is happening in the world.