“This is the best place to practice what they have learnt in the classroom. It will also open new opportunities for them to gain knowledge and comprehend how the real healthcare spectrum works.” said Associate Professor Dr. Mohamed Ikram bin Mohamed Salleh, Advisor for BRACE 2018
CUCMS’ Students Extending A Helping Hand To The Poor Community in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Cyberjaya, 07th August 2018 – Over 40 students from Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) recently participated in an international humanitarian mission to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dubbed the Bangladesh Relief and Care Expedition (BRACE) 2018, the programme was held from 22 to 28 July 2018 and aimed to provide much-needed health screening and medical assistance for the poor community in Dhaka.
As of June 2017, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) estimated that at least 1,200 people have died and more than 41 million were affected by monsoon rains and severe flooding in South Asia. In Bangladesh alone, floods claimed the lives of 142 people and impacted over 8.5 million citizens. Not only were their homes washed away but crops, food supply, and livestock were all wiped out. Recent figures from the Asian Development Bank showed that 31.5% of Bangladeshis lived below the national poverty line.
Responding to the tragedy, CUCMS’ students started collecting information, conducting research on the affected area and planning for the mission in December 2017. This annual mission focused on providing health services, medical care, education and welfare support to the underprivileged community. Our students’ efforts are in line with the university’s vision of ‘Nurturing the Passion to Care’ amongst its graduates.
Associate Professor Dr. Mohamed Ikram bin Mohamed Salleh, Advisor for BRACE 2018 said, “This is the best place to practice what they have learnt in the classroom. Rural community exposures like this will help students understand better their role as soon-to-be healthcare professionals. This will also open new opportunities for them to gain knowledge and comprehend how the real healthcare spectrum works.”
BRACE 2018 included medical check-ups, health talks, and provision of basic living items for short-term aid. Two of the long-term projects were providing medical bill coverage for babies from poor families to stay in incubators at the Paedriatric Department and the extension of the washroom at the Madrasah nearby to improve students’ personal hygiene.
CUCMS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BSMMU to collaborate in the knowledge-sharing initiative, students, and researcher exchange. The partnership will focus on the masters’ programme on family medicine, anatomy, and pharmacology. At the ceremony, Major General Dato’ Dr. Prof. Zin Biddin, CUCMS’ Dean Faculty of Medicine was present and said, “This programme opens up more opportunities for our students to learn, do good things and gain exposure on different cultures, environment, and traditions. Congratulations to the team for putting all the hard work in delivering good deeds to the people in Bangladesh.”
Ameer Ikhwan Bin Azminudin, Project Director of BRACE 2018 said, “The most important thing that I learned from this mission is the responsibility of every individual. Regardless of our background, the only thing that matters is how much effort we choose to invest to help people who are in need. Also, I would like to thank all lecturers, participants, partners and sponsors who were involved in this programme. Without your support, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve our goal.”
CUCMS students have been trained to balance their studies and extracurricular activity wisely to make this humanitarian mission successful without ignoring their academic responsibilities. CUCMS believes that this type of education and training will produce graduates and medical and health science professionals that are competent and balanced physically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally, thus in line with the mission of CUCMS.
Siti Sarah Abdul Fatah, a CUCMS’ Pharmacy student and participant said, “It was indeed an eye-opening experience. There are so many beneficial things I learned from this mission such as being grateful for what we have, hardworking and do well wherever you are. Bangladesh people did touch my deepest heart and I felt like we gave so little to them but the way they appreciated it was so much more than what we could ask for.”
Nur Hidayah Binti Mohd Assabri, a CUCMS’ Psychology student, and participant said, “If you don’t want to visit Bangladesh for the food, places or shopping, do pay a visit for its people. Through them, we can learn self-respect and love. This will be the memory that I cherish the most and it was an eye-opening journey not only for me but to all participants as well. Thank you BRACE for the opportunity.”
Shafieza Hanem binti Sahrudin, a CUCMS’ Pharmacy student and participant said, “One thing I learned from BRACE 2018 is that we should always be grateful and kind to others because all of us are imperfect beings. I am glad to be able to join this mission for the second time and I can see the differences in the need of each community.”
BRACE 2018 is the 6th international mission organized by the students of CUCMS which began with the Cambodia mission in 2013, Vietnam in 2014, Pekan Baru, Indonesia in 2015; Vientiane, Laos in 2016 and Nepal last year. Engaging in volunteerism and humanitarian programmes are an essential part of CUCMS’ educational philosophy in producing holistic professionals and healthcare providers with quality attributes of leadership, competency, entrepreneurship, and resistance. For this purpose, the students of CUCMS have been encouraged to organize various humanitarian missions within the country and internationally.
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