Who would’ve thought that amidst the modern halls of DLSHSI’s College of Medicine, its doctors and specialists are actually mired in scenes that some people would expect to be more apt for an image of the rural albularyo? Albeit, there was none of the trinkets that are usually cluttered around his space. Absent too are the mystique and creepy awareness that greet every “hopeful” and “faithful” patient. Instead, there were sanitized equipment, carefully measured ingredients, and of course, the scientists, the REAL doctors who have studied long and hard to make sure that they do only good and no harm at all times for their patients.
Common though, were the leaves, the oils, roots, and the omnipresent mortar and pestle.
This was the scene that was witnessed by 54 community health workers (CHW) from various Gawad Kalinga communities in Cavite who joined the special training on preparing herbal medicines organized by DLSHSI’s Lasallian Formation and Social Action Office on September 10.
“Meron po palang mga halaman sa aking kapaligiran na pwedeng maging lunas sa mga sakit at malaking menos ito sa aming gastusin at herbal pa po,” says Charlene Villano , CHW from GK Bayanihan, Dasmarinas City.
Charlene was one of the CHWs from these communities – GK Bayanihan in Dasmarinas City, GK Alapan in Imus, GK PNOC in Rosario, GK Aguado, Munting Paraiso and Bayanihan in Trece Martirez City – who learned how to concoct herbal remedies for common illnesses like cough, colds, arthritis, mosquito bites, scabies, diarrhea, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. The activity was an eye opener for the participants who never realized that they could create ointments, essential oils, and syrups out of plants that they can find in their kitchens or backyards and use these in keeping their communities healthy. In one day, they learned that with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, voila! They have SLK for common colds, Kakawati ointment for scabies, Tsaang Gubat for diarrhea, and Neem lotion against the pesky dengue- carrier mosquitoes.
The training program, spearhead by the College of Medicine’s Chair for Pharmacology and Director for Lasallian Formation and Social Action Dr. Maria Luisa Delacruz, is just one of the many activities borne out of the partnership between DLSHSI and Gawad Kalinga Southern Tagalog geared towards building healthy communities.
“Napakalaking bagay ang natutunan ko na ang mga halaman na nakapaligid sa atin ay malaking tulong sa mga karamdaman bilang pangunahing panglunas. Yong mga naituro sa amin kapag ito’y maibahagi din sa ilang mga kapitbahay napakalaking tulong nito sa bawat isa sa amin na magkaroon ng kaalaman sa mga herbal medicine. Maraming salamat po sa kaalamang ibinahagi ng DLSHSI,” said a CHW from GK Alapan, Imus.