SKIN AND BONES

A documentary film was made by a journalist named Kara David, who works from I-Witness in GMA7 company. It was created and published on June 6, 2005 in a small town of Mercedes, Camarines Norte. The film is an eye opening. As a student nurse, while watching the film and understanding the situation of the people in their community it gives me more of an insights that the community needs help, needs support, and a proper sanitation and nutrition. Society’s illness are first felt by the children.

Individuals and Family members of each households don’t have an adequate shelter, food, and lack of support due to financial problems. Most people lives in a wood or napa houses, they don’t have a good ventilation, they do not have a proper nutrition because foods are taken from the swamp were snails is found in the dirty mud and the water is not clean. In the swamp, they walk barefoot which they can easily get themselves injured and prone to infection; same as walking barefooted in the community. Some people cannot afford to buy a basic needs such as slippers or rice for them to survive because money is the problem. People only survive by working as a fishermen and the salary wasn’t enough. Most of the people are uneducated, they do not know the importance of a proper nutrition and a good sanitation. Most of the time, parents skipped their meals so that their children has something to eat, some parents are unable to support their child due to financial problem. Children suffered from malnutrition, parisitism, tuberculosis, GI ulcers, decreased of red blood cells, weakening of the lungs, and death.

street-children-in-the-philippines

One factor that affects the epidemic of malnutrition is lack of hygiene. A child who can eat well can still be undernourished if the environment is unsanitary. A child can still suffer from infection and diseases causing from parasitism. While watching the film, most kids are playing barefooted. Some people defecate in the river and foods are taken from the swamp which is not ideal for a proper food to eat. Unsanitary conditions are any conditions that may transmit, generate or promote disease, injury or sickness to any person. In this review we described the magnitude of this problem, as well as its direct effect on the immune system and how it results in higher susceptibility to infections. Malnutrition by itself can cause death; however, epidemiological data reveal that it greatly increases susceptibility to and severity of infections, and is a major cause of illness and death concomitant with numerous diseases. Many factors affect the degree and distribution of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency around the world, with poverty being at the top of the list. Other factors,  in which the relationship between cause and consequence is hard to establish, are also deeply involved in malnutrition including: socioeconomic and political instability; impaired educational development; unsanitary conditions; poor food practices;  and the shortage or ineffectiveness of nutrition programs.

Based in my experienced, I used to do a medical missionary volunteer back home in Florida. In my understanding, the basic plan for an ideal project in the community is health teaching and home visits. We can do this in the Philippines by teaching nutrition in schools can help reduce the costly impact of nutrition related diseases of future generations. Governments should make nutrition and sanitation education a priority. A home visits is an effective way to screen each individual and family members of the household. Volunteering as a health workers/ volunteer students is a good way to help the society. It is very important that malnutrition is detected as early as possible in order to prevent the condition getting worse, and to devise an appropriate nutritional treatment program. As a student, we can help the community to teach them how to clean the environment by planting trees, educate them with proper trash disposal, boiling the water, and a good hygiene. We can also create a project for a food hunger organizations by donating and volunteering. A food pantry in which to receive aid is the hardest part when trying to support a struggling family and help to prevent malnutrition.

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