Engaging the community in the University Field Project Area – MOH Nallur
A major part of the field activities undertaken by the Department are carried out in the Nallur MOH Area. Department staff contribute to health service provision to the residential population in partnership with the MOH Nallur. Alongside
Ministry of Health staff, Department staff participate in the delivery of poly clinics conducted in various locations. The University Field Project Area includes 22 schools. The Department contributes to school medical inspections, and a range of other health promotional activities. Recent initiatives include reactivation/formation of school health clubs, sexual and reproductive health promotion, substance abuse prevention, introduction of organic farming, and new solid waste management techniques.
The Department utilizes every possible opportunity to engage the community in the University Field Project Area in health promotion. As part of these efforts, Department staff, including three Consultant Community Physicians, a Consultant Family Physician, Public Health Inspector and Nursing Officer organize and participate in numerous public health campaigns. As health promotion and health education are integral to the Community and Family Medicine curriculum, medical students implement a range of health promotion activities in the area.
Delivery of community-oriented primary care by the Family Health Centre
The Family Health Centre (FHC), located in the premises of District Hospital Kondavil, is key to the Department’s community engagement strategy. Led by a Consultant Family Physician, FHC is overseen and managed by the Department. FHC offers clinical services and operates a laboratory staffed by a medical laboratory technician and laboratory attendant. In addition, the FHC engages health volunteers from the Field Project Area to identify families with special needs, and coordinates the delivery of home-based services and community engagement activities, including home garden development, women’s empowerment, and the Lead, Learn and Live Programme to develop the life skills of adolescents.
Promoting heart health through healthy eating and home gardening – AF Project
Several initiatives are being undertaken to promote community engagement in the AF project. A key strategy has been to frame the AF project in terms of promoting heart health. As part of this initiative, the AF team is working with community stakeholders to promote healthy eating and home gardening among the Kondavil Village community. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and the Agrarian Services Department are supporting this initiative by providing technical guidance, training and other inputs, such as seeds.
Capacity building for health promotion through student engagement
DCFM is committed to inculcating positive attitudes towards public health and health promotion among the next generation of medical doctors. To further this goal, the department integrates numerous student-led health promotion initiatives into the Community and Family Medicine curriculum.
Field Health Programme
This nine-month group project takes place in the University Field Project Area (MOH Nallur). A ‘community’ in the Nallur MOH area is assigned to a student group comprising 12 student pairs. Each pair of students are allocated 5 families for follow up. Within each large group, students work together to develop a health promotion intervention. The student pairs intervene at the individual and household level to promote health within their assigned families, while the large group works together as a team to uplift the health status of their assigned community.
Family Medicine Appointment
Students undertake various health promotion activities in the Family Medicine Clinical Appointment. As an example, in 2018, students of the 37th Batch formulated a draft guideline for foot care and obesity reduction for the Family Health Centre.
Other field health activities
Students undertake public health campaigns to raise awareness and instigate health behavior change in the community. Previous initiatives have targeted injury prevention, non-communicable disease prevention and community empowerment in remote, disadvantaged, war-torn areas of the Northern Province through the Community Residential Rural Health Programme. In 2018, the Department partnered with the Faculty of Medicine to organize Yarl MedEx 2018, a 4-day medical exhibition held in the Faculty premises to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine-Jaffna. The exhibition was replicated in 2019 in the premises of the Kilinochchi campus. Ongoing health promotion initiatives include individual and group community-based health education sessions, various contributions to the School Health Programme and participation in the Non-Communicable Disease Screening Programme delivered in the University Field Project Area by the MOH Nallur.
Community service delivery through external community-based organizations
- Department staff members contribute on a voluntary basis to health service provision at several community-based organizations located in Jaffna. Examples include:
- Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (AROD), Kokuvil
- Cancer Aid for North/East (CANE), Chunnakam
- Co-operative Hospital Moolai
- Sivapoomi School for Children with Special Needs, Kondavil
- Sivapoomi Elders’ Home, Tholpuram
- State Home for Elders, Kaithady